Top Tips For Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
Top Tips For Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
March 29, 2022
Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to dental disease and with regular brushing it is also preventable.
Plaque is a layer of saliva, food and bacteria that form a layer on our teeth. A build-up of plaque can develop into tartar and if left untreated can cause painful gum disease, infections, tooth loss and can also risk bacteria building up in other parts of the body, causing serious health issues.
The best way to remove plaque is to brush your dogs’ teeth regularly. Occasional brushing won’t get rid of tartar, but it will stop the plaque from building up.
Brushing teeth should always be a fun and positive experience so you pup enjoys the process. Ideally you should start while when they are puppies so that that it is a familiar routine, but it’s never too late to introduce this important health routine.
Here’s our top tips on tooth brushing from home:
There are many different types of tooth brushes that you can use, ranging from traditional looking toothbrushes to finger brushes, which slide onto your fingers. Dog toothbrushes tend to be smaller and have softer bristles so children’s toothbrushes can also be used to help you get into all the parts of your dog’s mouth
You should never use human toothpaste as they contain many ingredients that aren’t made for dogs. There are so many different types of toothpastes available and you can purchase from your vets, pet store or pet supply store. The important thing is that they fight plaque and tartar. Your pup will be happy as most are very appealing and come in flavours such as chicken and beef.
Familiarising your dog with all the different parts of toothbrushing beforehand will teach them not to be afraid. To test your dog’s willingness, you can start by touching your pup’s mouth and running your fingers along the outside of the gums to get them used to you touching their mouth and teeth. Once you are confident at this stage, you can then progress to touching their teeth and gums, try doing this for a few days before actually using the toothbrush
Give your pup a taste of the toothpaste from your finger, then you can progress to letting them eat off the toothbrush, again this will help familiarise them with the tastes and tools that you will be using
Choose the right time to brush your dogs’ teeth, it should be when you are both relaxed. Try getting down to their level so you aren’t standing over them or in a threatening stance and use the toothbrush in small, gentle circles. Your goal is to set a routine and working on daily brushing is the most ideal, but even three times a day can make a real difference.
Start out with the easiest teeth to reach until they become more confident with the process. Lift the upper lip and brush inside and out of all surfaces in a circular motion.
End On A Positive Note
Try to stop while everyone is still having fun, even if you don’t get all the teeth brushed for the first few times. Make sure you praise and reward your dog after each session.
Our Top Tips On How To Make Your Dog More Comfortable With Grooming
January 11, 2022
So many of our customers complain that their dogs hate being brushed or having their nails clipped and who wouldn’t hate having a whole bunch of unfamiliar tools on sensitive parts or strangers pulling and tugging on your hair when you are in a weird smelling unfamiliar place.
It’s really important that your dog sees grooming as a fun and positive experience. If your dog is stressed or anxious at the groomers it can become a negative cycle. The more stressed your dog is, the more difficult the groom is for them, compounding the fear and anxiety.
There’s no reason that your dog can’t learn to love the grooming process and we have put together our top tips to introduce positive associations for your dog to grooming
You can start your puppy out on the right track from the very beginning by helping them to become accustomed to being handled. You can help your puppy by regularly touching and patting the sensitive areas such as their muzzle, ears, paws and tail.
If they are particularly sensitive you can try gradually working towards the area and rewarding them with a treat.
A good tip before introducing the brush is to let them make friends with it first. You can start by placing the brush on the ground and putting treats on it. Once they are comfortable, you can then touch them with the brush in the sensitive areas without brushing while being positive and encouraging (treats always helps too).
Brushing your pup regularly will help them become more accustomed to the process, but it will also ensure that the grooming process is a more positive experience. Your groomer won’t have as many painful knots and matts to brush out that hurt your pooch.
Just like with the brush, you can help your dog get used to the nail clippers too first by placing treats on the clippers and allowing your dog to check them out first. You can then continue the process by tapping your dog’s feet with the nail clippers and providing positive words or treats when they don’t react
Pups can be frightened of different environments, particularly a grooming trailer with all the different sights, noises and smells. Regular visits will ensure that your pup is familiar with the environment to help make it a positive experience.
Try to keep on top of regular grooming appointments so that your dog doesn’t get to a point where they have knots and matts that are painful to remove.
Dogs that aren’t groomed regularly will need more than the normal maintenance groom, which can be painful, uncomfortable and stressful, creating a cycle of negative associations.
If you have an older pup that is reacting fearfully at the groomer, it’s not too late! You can work with your groomer to try to make it a more positive experience. Regular brushing, regular visits to the groomer will help them get used to being handled in places where they are most sensitive (treats can help).
The tone of your voice when you discuss grooming is also important. If your dog is reacting in a nervous way, try to refrain from apologising and show enthusiasm and excitement, they will feed off your behaviour. Confidence is contagious and you are doing something wonderful for your pup and helping them to stay clean and healthy.
It’s very important to never scold or discipline your dog for not behaving when they are being groomed. If your pup is frightened and misbehaving, being scolded by their favourite person will create more negative associations.
A positive and encouraging approach along with a regular grooming schedule will help your pup to be less anxious and stressed when it comes time for grooming.
How To Include Your Pooch At Christmas
November 25, 2021
Our pets are part of our family and why shouldn’t we spoil them at Christmas time? No matter what your plans are over Christmas, it’s important that we can include our pets to make it a fun holiday for everyone.
We have some great ideas how you can include your pup in your Christmas celebrations:
This is one of the favourites. Ask a friend to be a photographer (or hire one) and take some family portraits to remember the festive season and your furry friends. Add a Santa hat or a Christmas bow for your pooch to wear to make it extra Christmassy!
Dress Up Time
There are so many cute Christmas themed pup outfits and accessories for your pooch to wear, alternatively you can make your own using a red or green t-shirt and decorate it with ribbons and glitter. Make sure you cut the hole big enough at the neck and arms so it’s not too tight
Everyone loves presents and giving gifts doesn’t have to be limited to the human family. Your pup will love a special gift. You can make a stocking, or wrap up treats to go under the tree on Christmas morning
The best part of Christmas is all of the food! You can include your pup by cooking up dog friendly treats. Cheesy bites, tuna or dog biscuits are a fun option so they can feast while you are. Check out our recipe below for Minty Carob Christmas cookies to help freshen your pups breath
Take a photo of your pooch, put it in a small frame and you can use it as Christmas decorations on your tree. There are lots of craft stores that sell small decorations that you can glue onto the frame to make it extra festive
Don’t forget to include your pup in Christmas cards. Dress up in a Christmas themed photo and send to friends and family to wish them a merry Christmas
Extra time off work during the festive season means extra walks and playtime than normal. More than any gifts or food, your pup will appreciate extra time with their favourite human
Minty Carob Christmas Biscuits
2 Cups of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1.5 cups of plain flour
¼ cup of low salt chicken broth
½ cup of carob chips (do not use chocolate as it’s toxic to dogs)
Mix the mint and flour. Form a valley in the centre of the mixture.
Crack the egg and put it in the centre.
Use a fork to gradually mix.
Pour the chicken broth over the top and mix it up to form a sticky dough.
Put the dough into a zip-lock bag or seal it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/8- to 1/2-inch.
Use your Christmas cookie cutters to cut the dough into fun Christmas shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes or until the biscuits are firm.
Let the biscuits cool while you melt the carob chips in the microwave
Dip each biscuit into the melted carob mix and leave on wax paper to set
Biscuits can be stored in the fridge
What Will Your Pooch Say To You Christmas Eve?
November 23, 2021
Christmas is a magical time where anything is possible. Reindeer fly across the skies; magical elves work away in the South Pole and a man in a red suit flies all around the world delivering presents.
Across most of Europe, there is a legend that this one magical night of the year is when our animals gain the ability to speak.
It’s believed that it stems from the belief that Jesus was born at midnight on Christmas eve. When the ox and the donkey in the nativity stable bowed down to celebrate the birth, God gave them the ability to speak so that they could sing praise for the miracle.
The legend states that the animals spoke excitedly the moment Jesus was born, but when the shepherds arrived the animals stopped and went back to normal. The only humans who heard them were Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
Listening for the animals to talk has long been a tradition and farmers are known to check in on their stables at midnight while children sneak out of their beds at 11:59 to hear their pets talking.
For other European countries, animals talk to feed information to Santa Claus (or St Nick). If the children of the house have been kind to their animals they are rewarded with gifts at Christmas.
Other thoughts are that the myths began in the ancient Roma Festival of Saturnalia. During the week-long festival, roles are reversed and masters served their slaves and animals were able to speak at the stroke of midnight.
Many of our Christmas traditions, like wreaths and mistletoe have pagan roots and the tradition of animals speaking at midnight could also be a leftover belief from that time, appropriated by the modern Christian celebration of Christmas.
Personally, I believe that animals are talking to us all the time, but wouldn’t it be amazing if for one night we could have a conversation with our pooches on Christmas Eve?
What would your pooch say to you?
Stopping The Itch
November 4, 2021
Apart from fleas, one of the most common causes of itchy skin for your pooch is generally related to coat maintenance.
Grooming is your first defense against persistent itching.
Most times the itch is caused by pollens, dirt, matts and dander that stay on your dog’s coat. If left long enough they can start to irritate your dog’s skin, causing your dog to chew and bite at the irritation.
The best way to manage the itch is to brush your dog on a daily basis. Brushing your dog just once a day will help prevent the build-up that can lead to itching problems.
Not only will this prevent a bout of the scratches, your dog will love the time spent with their favourite person.
Bathing your dog is an excellent way to prevent your dog from developing an itching problems as well, but over washing your dog can have the opposite affect. Too much water and shampoo can strip your pup of the oils that are naturally found on the their skin. When these natural oils are stripped away the dog’s skin dries out and becomes more prone to infections.
Dry skin in dogs can be just as painful and itchy as it is to a human with a similar condition, and dogs cannot rub lotion on themselves!
If, despite your best efforts, your dog continues to scratch you should consult your Vet.
Healthy Diet For Your Pooch
July 14, 2021
What Should We Be Feeding Our Dogs?
A look at the dog food aisle can be very confusing. There is so much contradictory information about diets for our pooches and it’s hard to know if we should we be feeding all meat, raw meat, grains or no grains?
In terms of the dietary needs, we are quick to equate wolves and domestic dogs. Wolves eat meat, therefore dogs should eat meat, right? Seems simple enough.
Dogs Are Omnivores
Many people believe dogs are carnivores but true carnivores, such as a cats will die if they don’t eat meat. Research shows that dogs are omnivores, who derive nutrition from both plant and animal sources.
Wild dogs will eat rotten fruit, vegetables and even the half-digested contents of their prey’s stomachs.
Dogs may prefer steak, but their digestive system is also geared for rice and potatoes. Dogs have evolved to eat a more varied diet and the shift matches the genetic changes seen in humans showing that dogs and humans share similar evolutionary stories.
Dogs were likely domesticated around 15,000 years ago. At this time, humans were hunter-gatherers, and eating (and feeding their canine companions) mostly meat. With the development of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, people began to eat more starches (i.e., plant foods), and, unsurprisingly, so did their dogs.
The hungry wolves would have been attracted by the garbage dumps full of food scraps, taking advantage of this convenient new food supply. The wolves would have to adapt not just to being near people, but also to eating their food, which now included starchy grains and vegetables.
The wolves who could digest starch would have had an advantage and today’s domesticated dogs are probably descended from them.
How Does This Affect Your Pet’s Diet?
Dogs do not need meat in order to live. They can survive solely on non-meat sources and are at ease consuming a variety of different food sources.
Essentially, this means that you need to focus on providing the right balance of nutrients to your dog, and this does not have to be exclusively from a meat-based source.
What Should You Feed Your Pooch?
Modern dogs are not wolves and because of human intervention and selective breeding, they come in all shapes and sizes with varied dietary requirements.
An all-meat diet means that there are no fruits, vegetables or supplements and just like humans, our pooches need a varied diet to be healthy.
A balanced diet, which all things in moderation should contain protein (from an animal), vegetables, whole grains and fats (omega 3 fatty acids for skin and brain function).
What Does A Dog Groomer Do?
May 15, 2021
Many people prefer to groom their own dogs, but it takes training, particularly if its large, wiggly or naughty. Many people rely on a professional dog groomer to pamper their pets as it saves them time, energy and money.
Professional grooming involves all the services that each particular breed needs, from washing, brushing, deshedding to style grooming. Your groomer will also clean your dog’s ears and check for any signs of infection.
Dog Grooming Equipment
Many home accidents with our pets occur when we take the kitchen scissors to cut out a matt or use equipment or shampoos not suited for our pooch.
Professional groomers have all the right equipment to look after your dog. They will have the correct grooming clippers and scissors as well as the right shampoo for your dog’s skin.
Dog Grooming Schedules
There is generally a dog grooming salon in most suburbs where your can drop your pooch off and pick them up later.
Mobile Groomers are becoming increasingly more popular as they come to you, with fully equipped grooming salons in their vans or trailers. This means that you don’t need to leave your home and your pooch stays close to their own environment, making the experience more comfortable for them.
Professional dog groomers know how to handle your dog and have been trained to manage most pooches and behaviours, enabling them to get the job done quickly and efficiently without injury.
Dog Groomers Take Care Of The Yucky Stuff
Whether it’s anal glands, fleas or even eye gunk, professional groomers have the tools and the knowledge to be able to take care of it so that you don’t
How Often Should I Have My Dog Groomed?
It always depends on the breed, type of coat and if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. Generally, we recommend at least monthly to keep your pooch happy and smelling nice and fresh.
Puppies should have more frequent, shorter grooming sessions to help them get used to the process so that they don’t have issues later on.
What Should I Do Between Grooms?
Brushing your dog at least weekly will help with shedding and ensure that your dog doesn’t become matted. Matting can be very painful for your dog and may result in your dog having to be shaved off.
How Often Should Your Wash Your Dog?
May 12, 2021
Dogs get dirty and smelly, how quickly that happens depends on their lifestyles. Just like us, different breeds are less into outdoor activities than others. For some dogs though, muddy puddles and a dirt bath are just too inviting!
When To Bathe Your Dog
There is no exact number of times that a dog needs to be washed, but at the minimum it really should be at least every two months.
Baths are more for the benefit of their parents than the dogs themselves, especially for inside dogs. If your pooch is allowed on the furniture or on the beds, a clean and fresh smelling dog is much easier to live with!
For people with allergies, a dog’s dander or the outside allergens brought inside on your dog’s coat can cause reactions and will mean more frequent washing for your own health.
If your dog has a healthy coat and normal skin, bathing once a month is normally sufficient.
Can You Wash Your Dog Too Often?
There’s nothing wrong with washing a dog more often, but if too many oils are removed it can result in a dull coat and itchy skin. If you do need to bath your dog more often, make sure that you are using gentle, moisturising shampoos and conditioners that can help replenish your dog’s natural moisture.
If your dog has any kind of skin condition, your vet will recommend to wash your dog more or less frequently but for the most part it comes down to lifestyle.
How Fur Types Affect How Often Your Should Wash Your Dog
Dogs with oily coasts, such as Basset Hounds should be washed every week, while dogs with repellent coats like Golden Retrievers can be washed less often. Dogs with thick or double coats, like Malamutes require frequent grooming to minimise the shedding.
Long and curly haired breeds require more regular grooming and maintenance to keep their coats from matting. They should be washed at least every four to six weeks.
When Should Puppies Be Washed
Introducing a regular grooming routine early will help your pup see the grooming process as something pleasurable rather than occasional torture.
You should start washing them from when you bring them home and there are many puppy specific shampoos and conditioners available to keep their coats clean without removing all of the natural oils that they need to keep healthy.
Why Do You Need To Wash Your Dog
Aside from the keeping your dog clean and removing unwanted smells, washing and grooming your dog will give you a chance to check them over for strange lumps, fleas and ticks.
How To Bath Your Dog
Washing a dog can be sometimes be challenging and if that is the case, you can use a professional dog groomer. Jim’s Dog Wash franchisees come to your home, keeping your dog in a safe environment where they aren’t too far from you.
If you would like to undertake the task yourself, there are a few things that you should remember:
- Never use “people” shampoos or conditioners as dogs have delicate skin and shampoos not designed for dogs can cause skin irritations
- Ensure that your dog is restrained safely to stop them sliding around in the bath or potentially jumping out and injuring themselves
- Make sure that you completely dry your dog afterwards. Leaving your dog damp can allow fungus to grow, causing infections, hot spots. Drying completely will also mean that your dog smells nicer for longer.
If you still aren’t sure, speak to your local Jim’s Dog Wash professional who will be able to give you guidance and assistance.
Green Poop – Should You Be Worried?
May 3, 2021
Green poop is definitely something you shouldn’t ignore. Most times it’s not a cause for concern but it might also be a sign that there’s something wrong with your dog’s health.
Generally, the cause of green dog poop is simply that your dog has eaten too much grass, plant material or even a large amount of Greenies Treats and of course there are the other usual culprits, crayons, paint and pencils.
If you aren’t sure that your dog has eaten something innocent, then you should see a vet as the green pigment can also be due to your dog eating toxins, in particular rat poison.
If you’re sure that your dog hasn’t ingested anything, the green poop could indicate a more serious health problem.
Compromised adsorption of the intestinal tract can cause green poop. If the bile is not being absorbed sufficiently it can pass through the intestines and make it look green.
If the poop has changed in its shape or if there is mucous, then potentially, it could be caused by the bile not being absorbed in the intestines. If the poop looks normal, then likely its just something green passing through your dog’s intestines.
Giardia infection can also cause a greenish poop. This is usually accompanied by weight loss and a soft watery stool.
The best thing to do is to check in with your vet. Bring a stool sample with you, so that your vet can test it. If it is poison then it’s important to act quickly to improve the chance of your dog recovering.
Even if it’s just that your dog has been eating grass, other complications can also occur. Eating large amounts of grass can cause an upset tummy or even a bowel obstruction.
The best way to keep your pooch healthy and safe is to:
• Feed your dog a consistent diet – It will make it easier to detect changes
• Limit human food – Human food can affect dogs and upset their stomachs or cause allergies
• Prevent Rubbish Eating – This will allow you to keep a better control of their diet
• Know What’s In Your Garden – Mushrooms and many different kinds of plants can make your dog sick
• Keep Medicines, Cleaning Products or Pest Control Products out of reach
Any sudden changes in your dogs stool are a cause for concern and should be followed up with your vet.
Is Your Dog Aggressive? What To Do About It
January 3, 2021
Our dogs are very important members of our family, but sometimes we forget that their behaviours reflect many centuries of instinctually protecting themselves, their territory and their food.
Snarling, growling or more seriously, even biting are indications of aggressive behaviour.
People assume that some dogs are just naturally aggressive, but this is not true. If a dog is aggressive, it’s their way of saying that something isn’t right. Before trying to correct the behaviour, first you should try to identify the underlying cause of the aggression.
Fear: When a dogs that they are in danger, its an instinct to act aggressively. Even if it is a perception of danger, your dog may growl, bark or even bite.
Protective: Dogs instinctively protect their what is theirs” – This may be food, toys, their owners or their home. Your dog may snarl or snap at those that they perceive to be encroaching their “territory”.
Redirected: If a dog is provoked or in fear, but unable to attack their aggressor they may turn on another dog or human nearby.
It’s Not You, It’s Me: Having an aggressive dog can be very stressful but it’s important to be calm as possible as when you are stressed, your dog will feed off your energy making things worse. Your own anxiety may be the cause of the aggression as your dog may think that they need to protect you.
Healthy Exercise: Many people select a dog on the look or current popularity, instead of the suitability of the breed to your lifestyle. Maybe your dog needs more exercise, love, socialisation or mental stimulation. Dogs that have enough exercise can be less frustrated and will minimise the chance of them lashing out.
No More Bullying: Bigger dogs have a bad reputation, not because they are more prone to aggression, but it is scarier having a Rottweiler grown at you compared to a Chihuahua. All dogs should be treated as potentially aggressive, not just the bigger breeds.
Talk To Your Vet: When a dog is in pain, they tend to lash out. If a normally non aggressive dog suddenly changes behaviour, it’s important to check for bigger issues.
Ask For Help: Aggressive behaviour does not go away on it’s own. If you aren’t able to locate the source of the aggression, it might be time to get some help. A dog trainer or animal behaviourist may be able to identify the cause.
Desexing: Desexed dogs are less likely to need to assert their dominance or to be territorial.
Don’t Punish: Punishment for aggression could potentially make the situation worse if the cause is fear further. If the aggression is because your dog is trying to be dominant, punishment can cause them to overpower you.
Quite often the cause of aggression can be resolved but firstly it’s important to establish why and look at removing the cause.
If you fear that your dog will bite another person, maybe consider using a muzzle or keeping your dog confined in situations where they may become fearful.
Christmas Foods For Your Pooch – How To Spoil Them Right!
December 16, 2020
‘Tis the season to be jolly! Why should humans be the only ones to enjoy special treats during the holidays? Here are our tips on the best ways to spoil your pooch over Christmas, the right way
Keeping Them Busy
Treats that occupy your pooch are always great for keeping them away from all the foods they shouldn’t have during lunch! It’s also a good idea if your pooch isn’t accustomed to the excitement of children to give them a bit of time out on their own. Goat Horns, Beef Ears and Pork Lung Bites are a great treat that will keep your pet entertained and way from the Christmas table!
Some dogs are sensitive or may even be on a diet so you can try substituting safe fruits into your pet’s diet. Green beans are very low in calories, as are carrots and celery
Dental chews are a great option on Christmas day. They act as a toothbrush and some brands can even help with doggy breath!
Dental chews work by acting like a toothbrush and the action of chewing and grinding a hard surface can remove tartar and plaque
Fruit and Veggies
Apples (with seeds removed), bananas, blueberries, carrots, celery, cucumber, melons, peaches, pumpkin, zucchini, strawberries and green beans are a nice treat and change for your pooch
There are a lot of commercially made pet treats and biscuits available, but why not make your own? You can use a cookie cutter to make them into Christmas treats.
Here is our quick recipe of Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Treats:
2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
½ cup of cooked pumpkin
2 tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius
Whisk together flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Once all ingredients are mixed together, you may need to add a small amount of water to get to the right consistency.
Roll the dough into a ball then flour a hard surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ½ inch thick.
Use the cookie cutter to make into shapes
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until hard.
From all of us at Jim’s Dog Wash, we wish you and your furbabys a very Merry Christmas. Thank you for your ongoing support and being such an important part of helping us remain the number 1 pet grooming service in Australia and New Zealand.
We look forward to seeing you and all your pooches next year!
Does Your Dog Eat Grass – Should You Be Concerned?
September 30, 2020
There are many reasons why dogs eat grass, it could be that they need extra fibre, they feel unwell and want to vomit, or maybe just because they are bored!
Eating grass isn’t bad for your dog and some actually like the taste and it isn’t a sign of your dog being unwell, but there are a few things to look out for:
Grass contains dietary fibre and helps to simulate dog’s intestinal tracts. If you aren’t feeding your dog a premium diet, you may find that they are eating grass to fill the void in the nutrition.
You may need to look at alternative sources of nutrients or switch to a premium diet high in roughage, such as wheat bran or sesame seeds. You can also sprinkle extra fibre on their normal food. Vegetables are also a great option, pumpkin and green beans are the most common types.
Not all dogs vomit from eating grass, but some dogs eat it to try to relieve an upset stomach. The grass helps induce vomiting, thus getting rid of whatever is bothering them.
If your dog eats grass, vomits and seems fine there isn’t any reason to be concerned. They have probably fixed whatever was bothering them. If they keep eating grass and vomiting and it isn’t normal behaviour then a trip to the vet
Dogs eat grass (amongst other things) if they are bored or maybe they just like it. This in itself isn’t a problem but you do need to keep a careful eye on fertilisers and pesticides that you use on your grass. You should check your lawn care products to make sure that they are safe for pets.
You might want to look at an extra walk or some toys to distract them from the behaviour if you feel it is a problem.
As with anything, if there is a sudden change in your dog’s behaviour you should always check in with the vet just to make sure.
Your Dog Is Talking – Are You Listening?
September 25, 2020
Just like humans, dogs have their own language, thoughts and feelings and just like we do, they express them in many different ways.
Dogs use body language instead of verbal communication. They express their emotions and intentions through their movements and how they hold their body, tails, ears and even where they are looking.
Here are our quick tips on understanding your dog’s behaviours and how to translate their language
Your dog’s tail is down and relaxed, the ears are up but not pointing forwards. The mouth can be open with the tongue exposed and the head held up. Normally your dog will also be in a relaxed stance with their weight balanced evenly on all feet. Another clue is if the dog is looking directly at you, showing that there is no fear of threat.
Your dog may have seen or heard something that is interesting and needs to check things out. Generally, the tail will move slightly from side to side and the ears are forward and may even twitch, the eyes will be wide open and the mouth will be closed. Your dog could also be leaning slightly forward and leaning into the toes.
A dominant dog is not a problem in itself and understanding the difference between dominant or submissive behaviour will help you to manage aggressive behaviour if your dog is feeling challenged or threatened. It will also give you a clue of when you shouldn’t approach another dog.
The tail of the dog will be stiff and upright, it might also quiver or vibrate. The hair on the tail and the hackles may also be raised or bristled. The ears will be forward as the dog is alert and looking for danger. The lips may be curled with the teeth or gums showing and the dog may be standing stiffly, with weight on the front feet.
The tail will be tucked in between the hind legs and the body will be lowered with the hackles raised and the ears pulled back. The dog may be snarling with lips curled back and teeth clenched and will be staring at whatever is making them fearful
A dog that is frightened, but not submissive could possibly attack if the object of fear is not removed.
When a dog is fearful of something, it will generally be looking directly at it. If the dog is in a distressed state with many stressors, they may not be looking directly at any one thing but looking around fearfully.
The tail will be down and the body lowered, the ears will be back and there may be rapid panting.
Prolonged periods of distress may indicate a more serious issue should be investigated.
If your dog is fearful and offers signs of submission, generally your dog is trying to avoid challenges or conflict. In the doggy world, its about the pecking order and what or who is of a higher status.
The tail will be down and the body lowered towards the ground in a crouching position. The ears will be back and the eye contact will be very brief, if at all.
If your dog is always showing this behaviour, it may be a clue that they aren’t comfortable in their environment.
Total surrender means that your dog is showing his most vulnerable parts and is accepting of his lower status completely.
Your dog will roll over onto it’s back, completely exposing the tummy and throat and the head will be turned to avoid any direct eye contact. If your dog is feeling extreme fear, you may notice the tail tucked completely up between the high legs and there may also be a sprinkle of urine
A vigorously wagging tail, most times shows playfulness and friendliness. Your dog may also bend his front legs, with his back legs straight. The pupils will be dilated and ears will be up. Your dog wants to play!
It’s important to look at the entire body to fully understand what your dog is telling you. Not all dogs can communicate in the same way, for example breeds with long floppy ears, cannot raise them in the same way or dogs with very short tails cannot communicate much with their little stumpy tail!
Top Dog Names And Breeds – Which Is Your Favourite?
September 24, 2020
Naming your new puppy is a lot of fun. Unlike naming your children, you don’t need to be so concerned with what their classmates will think and you can push the boundaries with unusual names.
Australians, it seems prefer drink inspired names for their dogs, in fact a third of the top dogs names are inspired by drinking, second only to food inspired names!
Another interesting trend is the move toward calling our dogs human names, which shows a pattern of the growing role that dogs play in our lives and humanising our dogs even more!
The results are in and we have a list of the most popular names and breeds for our pooches!
While poodle crosses seem to be everywhere, it’s still the Labrador that takes top place in the most popular breeds!
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Border Collie
- Jack Russell
- King Charles Spaniel
- American Staffordshire terrier
September 23, 2020
Dogs are social animals and they love us and want to be with us all the time. Often they don’t understand that we are coming back when we leave. This is normal, however some dogs can become distressed when they are left alone, demonstrated by digging, destructive chewing, barking and howling.
Separation anxiety in your pooch can be a very challenging behaviour issue, particularly if your dog is destructive when you aren’t home but it’s important to remember that your dog isn’t trying to punish you for leaving, it’s part of a panic response and they just want you to come home!
The main goal of managing anxiety is to teach your dog to be calm and relaxed when you aren’t at home.
Here are our quick tips on managing a dog with anxiety:
- Leave and return home quietly, without making a fuss. Try to ignore your dog for 15 minutes before leaving and waiting until your dog has calmed down upon your return. You can practice this routine to help desensitise by only leaving for a few minutes
- Ensure that you are providing sufficient exercise
- Leave your dog with recently worn clothes that smell like you
- Establish a word command that you use every time that you leave so that your dog understands that you will be back
- There are many products that you can purchase to reduce fearfulness
- Create a safe place for your dog to limit the destructive behaviour while you are away
- Do not punish your dog for separation anxiety, this can compound the problem
- Visit the vet if the behaviour suddenly appears to ensure that it’s not caused by an underlying medical issue.
Five Quick Tips For Spring Time Grooming
September 1, 2020
With the arrival of spring, you will probably start noticing piles of dog hair on your clothes, floor and furniture.
During winter, our dogs grow heavier coats to keep them warm, but when spring arrives their coats start shedding and depending on the breed, matting can also start.
The condition of your dog’s coat is an indicator of the overall health so here are our 5 quick tips to help you look after their coats as the season changes:
The process of bathing and drying with a force dryer will help loosen the hair and remove a lot of the excess so it’s not all over your house! A shampoo and conditioning treatment followed by a proper drying will really loosen a great deal of hair.
Bathing can also remove pollen or other allergens from the skin which are active during spring. This will result in better health for you and your pooch!
A good hair cut keeps the coat soft, gets rid of tangles and damaged hair and gets your dog ready for the warmer months ahead. Your dog will be more comfortable and the coat will be far easier to manage when it’s short
Regular brushing results in less shedding but also helps spread the natural oils through the coat, keeping it healthy. While brushing is great for removing the dead coat, it also keeps circulation in the outer skin, promoting better health.
Because dirt can get embedded beneath mats and cause pain for your dog, you should be brushing or combing daily. If you leave it too long between brushing, the process becomes painful and your dog may become too sensitive (either because of the pain or because they aren’t used to the process) and may growl or just wiggle around too much, making your job more difficult.
With a shorter coat, your dog needs to be protected from the sun just like you. Use a pet friendly sun screen and make sure you provide lots of shade for your pooch when you aren’t home
While the coat is a very big part of your dog’s health, don’t forget the other bits! Don’t forget to trim the nails, check the ears and eyes!
Jim’s Dog Wash has qualified groomers in your area. To arrange a free quote, call 0800 454 654
Dog Anxiety – What You Need To Know
July 30, 2020
Just like humans, dogs can experience anxiety. It’s not nice, but it is a normal emotion. Anxiety can affect all breeds, but just like us, it can affect individual dogs differently.
Although anxiety is something that dogs can experience on occasion, if its excessive or left unchecked your pooch can develop a disorder, which can lead to chronic anxiety and behaviour issues.
There are many causes, ranging from fear, separation or just your dog’s age.
Fear can be caused by sirens, loud noises, fireworks, strange environments or different types of clothing (hats, masks, hoodies). Some dogs show a brief concern but then can continue behaving normally.
Separation Anxiety is where your dog is unable to comfort himself when he is alone or separated from family. It is estimated that around 14% of dogs experience separation anxiety, which often results in unwanted behaviour when alone, such as destructive behaviour, hole digging or excessive barking
Age Related Anxiety can affect older dogs and is a symptom of cognitive dysfunction Syndrome, which can affect memory, cognition and is similar to Alzheimers disease in humans.
The triggers for dog anxiety are usually fairly obvious. The best way is to watch your pooch and look for causes. Once you can ascertain the cause, you can then go about working on a plan.
One of the best strategies is called counter conditioning. This will help change your dog’s reaction to stressful situations which might cause anxiety. You can do this by rewarding good behaviour and reassuring your dog when the situation arises. You may also want to speak to a dog trainer for assistance with different approaches.
Most importantly don’t punish your dog or force them to stay too close to their source of fear. Your dog can learn over time that there is nothing to fear, provided you expose them slowly and provide positive rewards when they remain calm
In severe cases where your dog has developed and anxiety disorder, your vet may recommend medication that can be used at times of high anxiety.
Thundershirts are a tightly fitting shirt that fits on your dog, the theory is that the constant pressure can help calm their nerves
Massages are a great stress release for human and dogs alike and there is nothing more soothing for an anxious dog than your touch. Try to identify the signs of anxiety and you may be able to nip it in the bud by picking them up and giving them a cuddle.
Dog Appeasing Pheromones are scents that can help to calm a dog’s anxiety. The pheromone is a synthetic reproduction of the hormone that mother dogs release to keep their puppies calm.
Calming Music can have a soothing affect on your pooch when you aren’t home, this can also alleviate noise sensitivity by blocking out noises that might be creating anxietys
Rescue Remedy and Supplements are specific mixes of natural herbs and flower extracts that may help calm your dog’s nerves. They are available in anything from sprays or supplements to put in your dog’s water.
Training lays a solid foundation for preventing and managing many behaviours and it helps to develop a healthy relationship along with developing trust.
It can be difficult to predict why your dog is experiencing anxiety and even more difficult to tell if it will result in a more concerning disorder, however a good way to prevent anxiety is to ensure that your pup is well socialised, exercised and trained.
Anxiety can lead to an excess of energy and just as regular exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, it is also a great benefit for your dog. Exercise gets rid of pent up energy releases chemicals your pup’s brains that make them feel good. Ultimately a tired dog is a good dog!
If you find that none of your attempts are able to help with your dog’s anxiety it might be time for a trip to the vet to ensure that the anxiety isn’t caused by an underlying health issue and to look at a treatment plan.
Disgusting Things Your Dog Does (And Why)
June 13, 2020
We love our dogs, but sometimes it’s worth remembering where their mouths have been before you accept your next kiss!
Here is our top list of disgusting behaviours and why:
Considering our pooches love cat litter and vomit, drinking from the toilet bowl is probably the least disgusting thing they can do. The water in the toilet is fresh, cool and available and the chances of your dog getting sick is pretty slim. Try cleaning and refilling the water bowl more often and keep your toilet lid closed to discourage this behaviour.
Even though it’s a pretty gross behaviour, it’s a good grooming practice that keeps everything clean. If you notice it happening excessively, it might indicate a problem such as a urinary tract infection, which needs vet treatment
Stinking It Up
According to your dog, there is no better cologne than freshly laid cow manure! We think maybe wild ancestors are to blame for this lovely habit, although no one is really sure. Some people think it’s to mask their scent, but others think it’s just part of the fun of being a dog and getting to roll in whatever smelly stuff they can find.
Sniffing other dog’s privates is a just your pooch being sociable, a little like a handshake in the human world! Dog’s noses can sniff out all sorts of important information that help them interact with each other and to understand how to react to others.
There is nothing more barf inducing than seeing your dog eat their own (or another dog’s) vomit. Vomit smells like food, so why wouldn’t you want to eat it again, right? To your dog it just smells like food. Be assured, that it won’t hurt them but if you really want to stop it, try teaching your dog the “leave it” command.
There are thoughts that the dog’s saliva contains compounds that aid in healing and can also provide some pain relief, but too much licking can cause problems. Excessive licking can indicate an underlying problem or can cause hot spots
Dog’s cannot resist the kitty litter buffet. If the cat is immunised and not carrying any diseases, aside for the gross factor, it’s not really harmful to your dog. No one actually knows why they like cat poop, but possibly your dog’s super sensitive snout can sniff out the food content and thinks it’s a meal
Help! My Dog Is Eating Poop!
June 12, 2020
One of the grossest things our pup can do is when they eat their own poop but have you ever wondered why do it and if you should be concerned?
Mother dogs lick their puppies to encourage them to empty their bowels on command and then eat the poop. This is a natural instinct to keep the den clean and protect her puppies from predators who might be drawn to the scent. This is normal behaviour and can continue on until the puppies are weaned.
Puppies can pick up this behaviour from their mothers and this behaviour can be discouraged by cleaning up any poop before the puppy has a change to eat it.
You Are What You Eat:
If a dog’s diet is low in digestible nutrients, the food may taste the same way it went back in. A higher quality food can solve this. Jim’s Dog Wash stocks a great selection of quality pet foods on the Jim’s Dog Wash Store here
Poor digestion can be another cause of your pooch eating their own poop. If their system is not digesting the food appropriately, their poo tastes pretty much the same as the food they just ate. If you have tried switching foods and your dog still continues eating their own poop, it might be time for a check up at the Vets.
There is a theory that dogs eat their poop because of a deficiency in Vitamin B. These can be found naturally in whole grains, beans, green vegetables, nuts and diary products. Check out our store and see out selection of multivitamin chews that could assist with your pups dietary needs here.
Dog’s are curious, which may lead them to smell, taste and even eat their own or other dog’s poop. If your pooch is left alone for long periods, try leaving out a toy or a chew toy to distract them
Dogs eat their own poop sometimes to get a reaction, which they inevitably will. Try not to react
Worms and other intestinal parasites can leach your dog’s system of nutrients and cause them to try to supplement their diets with anything that looks or smells edible.
Hiding The Evidence:
Sometimes your pooch will try to avoid punishment for accidents, particularly if you respond angrily.
Sometimes there is no explanation at all and it’s a learned behaviour. The only way to stop it is to be diligent about cleaning up and distract your pooch.
Eating the poop is not harmful in any way, unless it’s contaminated with parasites from another animal.
When Did Dogs First Become Our Best Friends?
April 8, 2020
A long time ago, dogs were purely wild animals and were quite possibly our competition in the food chain. How did that change to them being our best friends, fetching balls, snuggling with us and being dependent upon us for food?
Our cute little pugs or designer oodles wouldn’t last very long in the wild. They are thousands of generations removed from their ancestral wolves. What nature started; we humans have changed through selective breeding.
Six million years ago, the earth suddenly began to cool and became what is commonly know as the Ice Age. Forests were replaced by grasslands and a split occurred amongst the larger primates and our ancestors came down from the trees and learnt to walk upright. At the same time the small woodland foxes grew bigger and adapted to running in the open grasslands. The ancestors of wolves and ultimately, our own domestic dogs began to appear.
All dogs can trace their lineages back from the Taimyr Wolf, which ate huge prey, like the mammoths as far back as 80,000 years ago. The breed diverged into two separate species somewhere between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago.
The earliest confirmed domesticated dog has been found in a burial site in Germany where a puppy was found buried with a man and a woman over 14,000 years ago, suggesting that the dog was considered a member of the family. The puppy was 28 weeks old and died from canine distemper. For a dog to survive that long with distemper it must have received human intervention and care.
The process of dog domestication could possibly have begun much earlier though. Populations of wolves would have moved to the outskirts of hunter-gatherer camps to scavenge the leftovers.
As humans improved their farming and hunting techniques, they began killing and growing more food than they could consume. The leftovers would have attracted the wolves, who learned to connect a free meal with the food left behind.
The wolves had to adapt to not just being around people, but also eating their food. Some wolves were less aggressive and better able to digest starches than others and began to thrive on the leftovers scavenged.
Dogs have adapted over the years and evolved alongside humans to be able to survive on non-meat scraps and leftovers and the key difference between dogs and wolves is the dogs’ ability to digest carbohydrates.
Dogs can break down starch into sugar and then transport the sugars into their bloodstreams much more efficiently than wolves. Scientists can follow the genes that changed over time allowing dogs to better digest the scraps that they scavenged from human villages, helping them to thrive as they gave up independent lives and coevolved alongside humans.
Wolves that hung around human camps became isolated from the greater wolf population and began to breed more closely and the better fed a wolf is, the more it is able to reproduce. With full bellies, the wolf was able to better pass on the friendly gene and the ability to digest carbohydrates.
Around 500 years ago, selective breeding really took off. Dogs were bred for their skills as hunters and herders as well as their looks. Dogs and humans have undergone very similar genetic changes around the same time, an example of parallel evolution, which scientist think was most likely created by the development of agriculture.
It took tens of thousands of years and a lot of selective breeding for the wolf to become one of our best friends but they have done it alongside humans, evolving at a very similar pace.
Dreaded Matts and How To Avoid Them!
April 5, 2020
Not only are matts dirty and messy, they can also cause skin irritation, hot spots and infection caused by dirt, moisture and bacteria being trapped inside the matts. Matts can also be very painful (imagine wearing a too tight ponytail all day). Tight matting causes the skin to pull and may lead to your pooch licking itself to relive the pain, making the matting worse and causing more issues.
Mats begin at the base of your dog’s coat, not at the top so the coat may feel tangle free and generally it is not visible by just looking. The fur starts to matt from underneath as it moults from your dog’s body. The best way to tell if your dog is matted is to glide a comb or brush from the skin to the outer coat. If it glides easily then there is no matting. If the comb or brush gets stuck and you can’t get it through then you know that the coat is starting to form matts.
Sometimes fleas can be the cause of matts. If your dog licks the area where it’s been bitten the fur can tangle and become matted. If left unchecked, the matting may worsen. You can check out our range of flea and tick treatments in our Jim’s Pet Store here.
You should NEVER try to cut mats out. They are often tighter than you realise and can potentially have skin caught up in them. You can easily cut the skin, causing more damage.
Non shedding dogs, like Poodles, Bichon Frise etc need help by regular brushing at least twice weekly with a good slicker brush to remove all the loose hair along with regular visits to a groomer. If you are unsure of the appropriate brush, have a look at Jim’s Pet Store page grooming brushes
See below our tips on how to avoid mats;
Most importantly, you should help your dog to enjoy the grooming process so they’ll stand long enough to be brushed thoroughly. Start brushing your pup when it’s young, even if brushing isn’t needed. Ensure that you provide lots of praise and treats so that the grooming process is associated with happy things.
You should always remove all of the matts or tangled hair before bathing. The water will only make the matting worse. Conditioner won’t untangle the mats on its own. You need to rub it into the mat and the brush or comb out completely before bathing. Always use a good conditioner. Dematting can cause major breakage, even if done correctly
Pay close attention to areas that mat easily, behind the ears and legs and where the collar or halter rubs. To keep mats from forming. A detangler cream or spray helps prevent fur from getting clumped up and can be used before swimming, this will make brushing easier later.
If there is severe matting, understand that your groomer may have no option but to shave off completely. Dematting is very painful and if your dog isn’t used to the grooming process, it can also be very stressful.
To book regular grooming, you can call Jim’s Dog Wash on 131546 or book online here
Five Quick Training Tips That Will Change Your Life!
April 5, 2020
The current restrictions, such as physical distancing and lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic has an impact on both humans and animals. Many pets will find their daily routines suddenly changed and their owners at home instead of at work, but at the same time their walks may be curtailed and they can cause mischief inside if they don’t have enough to keep them entertained
While this can be an anxious time for everybody it is important to see things positively and use this as an opportunity to do things that we might not usually have time for. One of the benefits is spending more time with our pets, for whom this outbreak can also be challenging, especially if they are kept inside for longer periods than usual.
See our quick tips on new training ideas:
It is important that the whole family be consistent in the cues and training methods so that there is consistency. Here are our suggested cues:
|Verbal Cue||Hand Signal||Dog’s response|
|SIT||Start palm-out at leg and moves up as if to touch your shoulder.||Sit up or down|
|DROP||Start palm-out at shoulder and moves down towards floor ending palm-down.||Lie down|
|STAND||Start palm-out at the side of the hip and moves straight backwards (like an invitation to enter motion).||Stand|
|WATCH||finger point to face||Look at my face|
|STAY||Palm-out stretched in front of dog.||Stay|
|LEAVE||Closed hand with treat||Not touch treat till cue take it|
|TAKE IT||open hand||Eats food|
Sit: The dog will sit on a verbal or hand signal
- Hold a treat at dog’s nose level, get dog’s nose glued to the treat and slowly move treat up over the nose, between the eyes to the top of the head between the ears.
- As you move your hand back the dog’s hindquarters should see-saw to the ground.
- As soon as the backside hits the ground, reward with a treat.
- If the dog is not following the food to sit, you can help them understand by asking for a little more movement in the direction of each time.
Stand: The dog will stand steady on a verbal or hand signal. This is useful during grooming and vet exams.
- Ask the dog to sit and reward.
- Bring a treat from the dogs’ nose slowly away from the dog keeping it at same level.
- As the dog moves to standing position, reward.
Drop: Dog will lie down on cue. This is used when out on walks, in the yard or inside on a mat.
- Ask the dog to sit and reward.
- While the dog is sitting, bring a treat from the dog’s nose level slowly lowering straight down to the floor between the dog’s front legs.
- As the dog lowers its head, bring the treat forward slowly
- As the dog lowers its body, reward.
Come: The dog returns to you when called
- Reinforce the dog for sitting facing you and close to your knees.
- Start close to the dog and move away a short distance. Call the dog to you.
- As the dog turns to you, reward with a treat or toy.
- Once dog is confidently coming to you, lure or ask for a sit on return.
- Start teaching your recall verbal cue once the dog is reliable in coming.
- You and your rewards (action, fun, or food) have to be more interesting and desirable than whatever else the dog can find.
- Repeat gradually increasing distance and distractions like in the backyard when sniffing or barking; at the park on a short lead then long lead then short lead while talking to another dog etc.
- Make it a habit to touch the collar when giving the dog the treat/toy.
- Even with experienced dogs, at the park, practice recalls a number of times during the outing – the dog becomes accustomed to “I’m getting a treat and I go play again” rather than “Fun’s over, I’m going home.”
Watch: ‘Watch’ is used to get the dog looking at you to focus on you. Often you want to use it when the dog is not already looking at you and when you can’t reach its face. Early introduction of a verbal cue is desirable in this exercise.
- Hold a treat on the dog’s nose.
- Move the treat towards the top of your nose to between your eyes.
- As soon as the dog moves its head to look at you, praise with the treat immediately.
- Exceptionally polite dogs won’t make eye contact but should look towards your face.
Patience is Key
As with any type of dog obedience training, the key to helping your dog successfully learn is having patience. Plan on practising hand signals a number of times before your dog is able to figure out what to do on command.
In order to make this work more effectively, keep training sessions short, fun and positive. Don’t have your dog practice the same hand signal over and over again several times in a row, or he’ll get bored or distracted. Instead, change things up during each training session. This will keep your dog’s attention focused on you longer and make him look forward to training sessions.
How Smart Is Your Dog? Test Your Dog’s IQ
March 9, 2020
Border Collies are thought to be the smartest breed, with Poodles coming in not far behind, but how do we rate the dogs and what is the decider for intelligence (or lack thereof)?
Officially, the three deciders for intelligence are:
Instinctive Intelligence – This is the type of intelligence and natural ability that is inherent in the breed. Terriers are good at hunting, Boodhounds are good at finding things with a scent and Border Collies are good at hunting sheep.
Adoptive Intelligence – This is the dog’s ability to learn and perform certain tasks, like socialisation and language comprehension.
Recent research to determine the most intelligent dogs might not be entirely accurate though. No individual dog or breed should really be considered dumb, ease of training really shouldn’t be the only way to assess a dog’s intelligence. Training takes time and patience and every dog is different.
All dogs are bred for different skills and how smart any of them are always depends on the test. Herding breeds are considered amongst the smartest due to the nature of their work because they are able to make independent decisions and also take instructions. Hounds are considered amongst the least intelligent, but it’s mostly because their breeding means that they are governed by their noses. Hounds aren’t interested in listening or pleasing anyone else, they are just interested in tracking with their noses. For every breed there is a purpose and it is tempting to judge a breed by its performance in certain areas, though it doesn’t mean that they aren’t smart.
A border collie may be far more trainable, but a bloodhound is superior at tracking scents. They each have different skills and excel in their own ways.
Police or army dogs tend to be the German Shepherd Dog because they are easily trainable. Does this mean that they are smart, or maybe not so smart because they always follow instructions and don’t think for themselves?
There are various IQ tests to help you understand your dog’s intelligence and all of the relate to a dog’s “trainability” Dogs that do well on these tests are generally highly trainable, but these tests aren’t infallible. Some dogs are stubborn and their lack of cooperation has nothing to do with their intelligence. Some people say that the smartest dogs are the ones that wait patiently for a treat without doing anything!
See below for a quick IQ for your dog to say how clever your dog really is:
- Place a towel or blanket over your dog’s head.
Scoring: 3 points if your dog frees itself under 15 seconds, 2 points 15-30 seconds, 1 point if takes longer than 30 seconds.
- Place three empty buckets upside down. Allow your dog to watch you put a treat under one of them and then distract them for a few seconds.
Scoring: 3 points if your dog finds it straight away, 2 points if he checks the wrong bucket first, 1 point if he doesn’t find it.
- Place a treat under a piece of furniture (low enough that only your dog’s paw will fit). Scoring: 3 points if your dog uses his paw to reach it, 2 points if he tried to fit his head or nose under, 1 point if he gives up.
- Place a treat on the floor and place a towel over it.
Scoring: 3 points if your dog finds the treat in under 15 seconds, 2 points 15-30 seconds, 1 point if takes longer than 30 seconds.
12 points: It doesn’t take brains to give cuddles and kisses!
9-12 Points: It doesn’t take brains to give cuddles and kisses!
5-8 Points: It doesn’t take brains to give cuddles and kisses!
1-5 Points: It doesn’t take brains to give cuddles and kisses!
It’s not fair to label any breed dumb. Some are brighter than others, but most dogs are good at something. Your job is to figure out what it is!
Happy Hump Day? Why Your Dog Is Humping And How To Stop It
December 19, 2019
Humping is one of the most commonly misunderstood and unwanted behaviour in dogs. It is also one of the most frequent and embarrassing. Sometimes they’ll hump a stuffed animal or a sofa, or worse, a person’s leg.
Dogs do not hump to assert dominance and if your dog is desexed, it’s not about mating either, nor is it reserved just for the males. Females can also demonstrate mounting behaviour for all the same reasons that male dogs do. Humping is common behaviour when dogs are playing, fighting or even when alone and bored.
The most common times we see humping is when guests arrive, after meals or when dogs are playing with each other. These are all stimulating times that spike to dog’s adrenaline and the dog is uncomfortable so needs to make itself feel better.
The simplest answer is that humping feels good and when your dog feels uncomfortable or gets over stimulated, they undertake comfort behaviours to calm down and make themselves feel better.
It is important not to punish this behaviour, you will just increase excitement or make them nervous which will likely compound the problem and increase the likelihood of it happening again.
The best way is to step in calmly and separate. Engage the dog and encourage an alternate settling behaviour such as removing them altogether from the situation and settling or giving them something to chew to provide a distraction.
Work out when your dog is likely to start humping and direct their energy onto a more appropriate activity and reward for calm behaviour. If your dog is trained to sit on cue, when your dog starts to mount, say “sit” provide and reward to encourage the good behaviour.
Bad Doggy Breath?
November 9, 2019
Your dog might think that you appreciate slobbery kisses, but if their breath is bad then getting close is probably the last thing that you want to do!
Some dogs will eat anything and this can lead to bad breath. If your dog is regularly eating your garbage, is eating animal remains or is getting into the kitty litter, this unsupervised snacking can be the cause, but generally the most common cause of bad breath is bad oral hygiene and tooth disease.
If your dog is not a chewer and you do not regularly brush, over time the plaque will build up and lead to serious gum and teeth disease.
Just like humans, the build up of plaque can lead to bad bacteria that cause bad breath. Too much plaque can push the gums away from the teeth exposing new areas for the bacteria to build up.
Dogs teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent build up of plaque and bacteria.
Dental Sprays can reduce plaque and freshen breath and can be used as a supplement or replacement to tooth brushing.
Dental chews can help, but remember not all dental chews are great for your dog. Look for ones that contain chlorophyll, cinnamon and cloves.
Fresh wheatgrass is an excellent source of chlorophyll and is a brilliant remedy for bad breath, coconut oil has the added benefits of boosting the digestive and immune systems, it helps to combat bad breath. Put a teaspoon over your dog’s food every day. You can even brush your dog’s teeth with it.
Neem is an extract from the Neem tree and has many positive effects on dogs and their humans. It’s also great for the skin and coat, as well as being excellent for oral health.
Cinnamon sprinkled on your dog’s food will help them to have sweet smelling breath
If your dog has a sweet or fruity smell, it could mean that this is a symptom of diabetes. Look out for other symptoms like more frequent drinking and urination. Other issues to look out for is if there is a yellow tinge to the gums, this may mean that your pooch has liver issues and you should get to the Vet to check as soon as possible.
Dog Scooting: Why It Happens and When To See The Vet
October 3, 2019
The sight of your dog dragging its butt across the floor might look funny (unless it’s on your carpet), but dog scooting is no laughing matter and may be giving you a clue that there’s a problem with your furbaby.
Why does it happen and what does it mean and when should you see the vet?
The biggest reason for scooting if there is an itch or pain “back there”. If their butt is bothering them, they will generally drag it on the carpet, grass or concrete to scratch their itch. Many things can cause the itch, but most of the time it’s caused by impacted or infected anal glands.
Dogs have two small sacs on either side of their anus that contain a very smelly liquid that is excreted whenever they poop. Most people think this is how dogs mark their territory, adding some extra smell to their poop that is uniquely theirs. In a normal, healthy dog the stools are hard enough that the glands express themselves. If your dog has loose stools or irregular bowel movements that don’t press against the anal glands you may find that they can develop inflammation of the anal glands.
Inflammation prevents the liquid from being excreted normally and becomes too thick, so it can’t be expressed normally, causing the anal glands to become full and uncomfortable. This can, in some cases also lead to infection and abcesses.
Rarely, the scooting could also be caused by intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, injuries or tumours in the anus, rectal prolapse or allergies. In addition to scooting, you might notice your dog licking their back end excessively.
What to do?
If you notice your dog scooting occasionally, you don’t need to rush to the vets, sometimes they just have an itch and want to scratch it. You should keep an eye on them and check how often they are doing it but an occasional scoot is no cause for concern.
If your dog is scooting for more than a few days, it might be time for a vet visit. Your vet can do a rectal exam, just to see what is going on with the anal glands and to check for any signs of inflammation. Your vet can also do a faecal exam and look for any signs of intestinal parasites.
If the anal glands are full or impacted, the vet may need to express them, however your vet should help you to determine the cause of the problem rather than just treating it symptomatically by manually expressing the glands.
It’s important to try to re-establish the tone and health of malfunctioning glands using a combination of dietary adjustments, homeopathic remedies and natural GI anti-inflammatories. Sometimes manually infusing the glands with natural lubricants or herbal preparations can help return them to normal function.
The goal should be to resolve the underlying cause and return your dog’s anal glands to self-sufficiency. If your dog doesn’t have anal gland issues you should tell both your groomer and your vet to leave these little glands completely alone to avoid future problems down the road.
How to Stop Anal Gland Issues
Adding fibre to your dog’s diet can firm up their stools, making it more likely that the glands will be able to express on their own when the dog poops as they empty with the pressure of the stools. You could try adding pumpkin to your dogs’ food. There are also commercial anal gland supplements containing fibre available.
Some dogs develop impacted or full anal glands and may benefit from having them expressed manually on a regular basis, however expressing them when there are no problems is not necessary and will likely cause harm.
If there is no problem, the anal glands should be left alone. Routine expression of the anal glands is pointless and unpleasant for both the dog and the human and can be potentially harmful, so if you take your dog to the groomer, make sure to mention that anal gland expression is not needed as over time expressing them can result in the inability for them to function on their own.
The anal sacs are delicate little organs that can be easily injured through squeezing and pinching. They were meant to function optimally on their own without mechanical squeezing. Trauma to the glands causes tissue damage and inflammation, which in turn causes swelling.
If your dog is having recurrent or chronic anal sac issues, it’s important to identify the root cause rather than repetitively treating the symptom by manually expressing the glands. If your dog’s poop is frequently unformed, sort of watery, their anal glads aren’t getting the pressure they need to empty and you should investigate the cause of the soft stools. Feeding a balanced and appropriate diet should address most food sensitivities and stool consistency.
SPRINGTIME GROOMING – HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
September 2, 2019
Just like it is important to spring clean your home, it is important to keep your pet looking their best too! There is no better time than the beginning of spring to clean your pets bedding, toys and of course, their fur! Whether you prefer to wash your pet at home or you have the grooming done by your local Jim’s Dog Wash experts, we cannot stress the importance of regular grooming.
LEAVE WINTER BEHIND (and the winter fur)
Your dog feels refreshed, their ears have been cleaned, their nails have been trimmed, their fur has been washed and cut, and they feel fabulous! Spring is a great time to get your pooch started on their regular grooming schedule. Over the winter, they have been inside, and they may have excess fur from their winter coat that needs to be removed. This will make them feel and look their very best, just in time for lots of fun, outdoor activities.
WHY SHOULD I GROOM MY PET REGULARLY?
Just like we love to brush our hair, take showers, and feel an overall sense of cleanliness, our furry friends love it too. While they may not love getting wet, they will appreciate the way they feel afterwards. It is important that between professional pet grooming appointments, you keep up with their brushing and toe nail clipping (if possible). This helps to keep their fur from tangling or matting and their toe nails from becoming ingrown (ouch!).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONAL PET GROOMING?
In addition to the regular, mini-grooming sessions at home with your pet (brushing and toe nail trimming), professional pet grooming is necessary to maintain your pet’s health and wellness. There are a few specific reasons why you should choose to professionally groom your pet:
🐾 Professional grooming maintains healthy skin and a healthy coat.
🐾 A grooming professional knows how to properly clean your pet’s ears and inspect them for ear mites.
🐾 Regular nail trims not only keep the nails short, but they reinforce a healthy foot structure and posture and reduces the risk of infection.
🐾 Regular grooming visits may result in early detection of issues with their skin, nails, teeth and ears.
🐾 When your pet has been regularly groomed, you will notice a decrease in shedding.
🐾 Your pet will look and smell great!
If it has been a while since your last trip to the groomer or your pet has never been, Jim’s Dog Wash on 0800 454 654 today. We would love to see your pet and get them looking and smelling their very best!
Common Mistakes That Shorten Our Dog’s Life
August 4, 2019
We love our dogs and want them to live a long and happy lives but unfortunately many of us unwittingly shortening our beloved pooches’ life. Here are a five common mistakes:
Many of us like to give our dogs the food that they like best, but your dog’s health depends on a complete diet with all of the nutrients and less calories.
Be selective about ingredients and make sure you read the package carefully and check the calories as overfeeding is one of the biggest causes of ill health in our pooches. Food should not contain colouring agents or Genetically Modified Organisms.
Your dog’s digestive system isn’t set up for people food and though it’s hard to resist those puppy dog eyes, you are doing your dog a favour by not treating them with your food.
Being inconsistent with training
Consistency will make your dog feel more secure. If you say no to table scraps, but give them some occasionally, it will derail all of your efforts and confuse your dog.
Every dog needs basic training and socialisation, without it you will limit the amount of enjoyment that you have with your pet, they can become easily frightened and react in ways that aren’t appropriate in public.
Forgetting Important Care
Bathing your dog regularly will give you the opportunity to check for lumps or growths, it’s also a necessity to keep them clean and healthy. Dogs that need grooming, should be groomed regular to save them the discomfort of having knots.
Different breeds have different grooming requirements, but all dogs should be brushed regularly. This will ensure that their skin and fur are healthy and free of knots.
Larger dogs that get a lot of exercise on footpaths may wear their nails down naturally, but will still need to be trimmed on occasion. Smaller dogs should be cut regularly otherwise they can rip your skin and furniture as well as causing pain and injury to your dog.
When To Visit The Vet
Don’t put it off, you are your dog’s first and last line of defence. A lot of dog owners skip routine visits unless there is something going on with their dog to avoid the cost and inconvenience.
Dogs will hide illnesses until it becomes unbearable. Treating it then will be far worse. It’s better to have regular check ups as the vet knows what to look for and may be able to pick up things before they become a big problem.
Not Exercising Enough
Exercise is a basic need for every dog. Lack of exercise can lead to health and behavioural problems. Some dogs need more exercise than others, make sure you are providing enough for the breed that you have.
Dogs should have enough time to get outside, they can become overweight as well as showing bad behaviour like chewing up your shoes and digging holes.
Train Your Dog To Walk On A Leash Without Pulling
July 5, 2019
When was the last time you saw dogs off leash walking in a nice straight line? Probably never. In the wild, being restrained is dangerous, so when a collar presses against a dog’s neck, the tendency is to pull harder. It’s unnatural for dogs to walk in this way, they want to chase leaves and sniff at every fence post.
You may be thinking that all is lost and your dog will never learn how to walk politely on a leash, but that’s not the case. With a few tips, you can help your dog to stop tugging and make your walks more enjoyable for both of you:
Remember that polite leash walking is very artificial for your dog and be patient and generous. If your dog gets it right, make sure you reward them, either with a treat, your words or with permission to sniff something interesting.
A good exercise is to set a treat on the ground and walk towards it with your dog on the leash. Every time your dog pulls forward say “oops” then return back to the starting point. Repeat as many times as you need to until you can walk to the treat without pulling on the leash (told you that patience was needed).
The right equipment can decrease pulling and there are numerous choices, like front clip harnesses or head collars. For most products, the fit is key. Too loose and it may not work. Too tight and it can cause pain for your dog. If you aren’t sure, check with a trainer or your vet.
A tired dog will find it easier to walk at your pace and learn from you, so ensure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise. To give you a good head start with training, tire your dog out before the walk, play a quick game of fetch beforehand.
Walk WITH Your Dog
A walk is the highlight of your dog’s day. Walk with your dog. You will both enjoy having more to connect you than just the leash.
Is Your Dog Peeing In The House?
June 15, 2019
There are many reasons why dogs have accidents in the house and some of them can be a symptom of a bigger issue so it’s well worth putting a little effort into figuring out what’s causing the problem rather than disciplining them.
Toilet accidents generally leave large amounts of urine, scent marking is different. You will find small amounts of urine in different place around your house.
Dogs will want to mark scent where other dogs have been to the toilet and ammonia can often trigger that response. Since many of our household cleaners contain ammonia, try switching to a natural cleaner and clean the area thoroughly.
If your dog was previously housetrained and suddenly starts having accidents, get the vet to check for gastrointestinal disease, urinary or bladder infection or canine cognitive dysfunction (similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans).
Change of Environment
If your dog has been cleared by a vet and it’s definitely not scent marking, have a look to see if anything significant has happened in your dog’s environment? Have you moved house or has someone recently moved out of the household. Dogs are very perceptive and are more affected by changes in family life, routine or discipline than we realise.
Look for a Pattern
When are the accidents happening? Is it during a thunderstorm or when you leave the house or do they sneak away and go in the same place? Finding a pattern can help find the reason.
Go Back to Basic Training
To stop a dog peeing in the house, you may need to go back to the basics of toilet training.
- Take the dog outside more frequently
- Reward outside toileting
- Supervise at all times
- Don’t punish accidents
Be patient, with consistent guidance and support, your dog will get back on track and keep the accidents to a minimum.
Be Choosy About Dog Chews
May 27, 2019
Dogs love to chew on things. Any chew that can be swallowed or broken apart presents the risk of harm to your dog. If pieces can be chewed or cracked off your dog may swallow them and end up with a bowel perforation of an intestinal obstruction. Soft, easily swallowed chew toys may build up in the stomach and cause vomiting. Dog treats are not part of the pet food industry and as such, are not regulated in the same way, meaning that there could be potential for bacterial contamination if the treats aren’t prepared correctly.
So which one to choose?
Sticks can be a natural choice for dogs as they can pick up a stick on their walks. Be aware, that some wood is toxic to dogs, in particular White Cedar, Australian Pine, Black Walnut and Apple trees. Further, a dog running with a stick can cause punctures in the mouth, as too can splinters as well as getting lodged in gums.
Dried, aged antlers can be harder than bones and can sometime result in injured teeth
These popular chews are marketed as toys, not food and are processed using chemicals that can be very dangerous to dogs. Always avoid rawhide that is coloured as the dyes are very unsafe for dogs.
Hooves, Feet and Ears
Cow hooves and duck feet are cleaned and dried to use as dog chews, however they can become very brittle and smaller pieces can block or irritate the intestines. Lamb ears are suitable for puppies and smaller dogs, while larger dogs can enjoy cow ears. Pig ears are generally very fatty and can cause digestive problems.
You have probably seen bully sticks for sale and have heard that dogs love them, but not many people know what they are made of. Bully sticks, or pizzle sticks are digestible dog treats made with the dried muscle from steer or bull penis, which is considered an animal by product. Dogs love them, but be aware they really stink and are definitely an outside activity!
Meat can be dehydrated and given to your dog as a chew, provided there are no additional spices or flavouring.
Cooked bones should never be given to your dog as they become hard and brittle and can cause broken teeth and issues with splinters being swallowed and affecting the intestinal tract. Fresh, raw bones are great for your dog.
Nylon and Plastic Chews
These chew toys can keep your pooch occupied and help them with their urges to chew, but make sure that you check for sharp edges that can cause bleeding. Rope toys can also be used, however you need to ensure that once the toy starts to break down it should be removed as the fibres from the ropes can cause damage to your dog’s intestines.
There are no toys that are completely safe. You should always supervise your dog and immediately remove anything that might cause cracked teeth or intestinal blockages. It is hard to gauge the nutritional content of store purchased treats as they aren’t part of the pet food industry and do not need to have product labels so always purchase from a reputable supplier and use as an occasional treat.
Tips To Keeping Your Dog Healthy During Winter
May 17, 2019
In the winter months, it’s easy to think that grooming isn’t needed so much. You may think: they are inside all the time and therefore “stay clean,” or they just go right back outside and immediately become a mud puppy again!
Many think that dogs with long coats “winterize” themselves and can be left alone through the cold, wet season. However, while these coats are a “blessing” in terms of warmth versus a short-haired dog’s coat, they can also be a curse.
Thick coats in winter can turn quickly into an issue if the fur isn’t maintained in a healthy condition. Fur that’s matted doesn’t insulate or provide warmth; instead, it provides discomfort, pain and hot spots. Matting can even lead to infections below the skin, so when considering the effects of letting the grooming go, consider how your dog’s health may in fact suffer as a result. Grooming isn’t just for a beautiful dog it’s also crucial for your dog’s good health.
Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to your dog’s food. Coconut oil is a good natural moisturizer that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed. Please see your vet if you have any concerns.
Dogs often need more grooming in the winter than at any other time of the year. Longer, fluffier coats tend to mat, and walks through mud and rain are messy. If your dog is indoors to keep warm, you may be especially eager to bathe him to keep “doggie” odor to a minimum, but that is a personal preference.
Please keep in mind that if you do bathe your dog, they must be completely dry before going outside if it is cold, because a wet dog is more likely to become chilled. This is especially true of small breeds or those with short hair. Prolonged exposure to cold results in a drop in body temperature, or hypothermia, and it is most likely to occur when a dog is wet. If you normally allow your dog to air dry, consider blow drying to speed the process, if your dog allows you to do it.
Some owners believe that giving a dog a haircut during cold weather compromises the dog because it needs its coat to keep warm. While this is true, it’s also true that most pets don’t live outdoors all the time (nor should they!); they’re usually snuggled up with their owner in front of the heater or fireplace. House dogs don’t need to rely on long fur and a thick undercoat for warmth, as wild animals do.
It is okay to give your dog a haircut in winter. However, if you’re concerned about your dog being cold on outings, consider requesting a longer trim or pop on a doggie sweater.
A dog’s winter coat can also hide trouble, such as lumps, bumps or sores, which is another good reason to keep brushing regularly. As you brush, feel and look carefully for signs of illness. Call your veterinarian if you see anything suspect – skin infections such as hot spots will spread very quickly and easily get out of control.
Jim’s Dog Wash franchisees come to you in their fully equipped mobile salon, with constant warm water. For regular maintenance or a one off pamper, give us a call. We come to you!
May 9, 2019
Dogs coats are constantly changing throughout their life. The coat goes through several cycles that are pre-determined by genetics. It may also be affected by diet, environment and health.
The four main stages of coat growth are;
This is where your dogs coat is in an active growth cycle and constantly growing. This is predetermined genetically, and some breeds have short coats others have long straight coat or curly coats. Some continue to grow for up to a year others 3 weeks
This stage is when the coat is reaching its maximum length and stops actively growing
The telogen phase is when your dogs’ coatis when the coat is dormant. It has reached its full length and remains attached but is no longer growing but it remains in the follicle
This is when the hair reaches the end of its life cycle. This happens to every hair eventually. Once in the exogen stage the hair is shed from the follicle and the process of anagen starts again.
Shedding and Moulting or Exogen Phase
All Dogs Shed, that is fact just as the human hair dies and regrows so does dog hair. The reason some do not appear to drop coat everywhere is because the coat may at any time have hair growing in 4 different phases in all different lengths and the hair attaches to other hairs holding into the coat.
Under a microscope the hair reaching the end of its life cycle or Telogen Phase looks like a Christmas tree, with small branches or barbs along the length of the hair shaft. This split fine coat or barbs acts like Velcro and the hair attach to one another this hair may then start to matt, tangle or become compacted.
Exogen can be triggered by longer lighter days and warmer temperature and anagen may be triggered by cooler temperature. With many pets living indoors in temperature-controlled homes these phases may be a little out of sync with nature. This may be why your dog sheds less or more and may vary depending on where you live.
Preventing Matting and reducing Shedding
If your dog’s coat is left unattended, gets dirty or wet it will matt more easily When dog hair becomes wet for example the hair shrinks and tightens further as it dries. This will eventually lead to dreadlocks or compacted coat depending on your dog’s coat type. Most coats like hand stripped terrier coats or smooth coats such as Labradors even poodle coats, will repel dirt and water more easily when kept in optimum condition.
To prevent your dogs coat becoming matted or compacted and reduce shedding
- Brush or de shed your dogs coat regularly, a minimum of once a week and anytime before and after it becomes wet, through swimming, washing or running through muddy puddles.
- Keep your dogs coat clean and well-conditioned, this helps maintain the healthy hair shaft and smooth down those barbs
- Always rinse thoroughly as shampoo residue will cause dirt to stick to your dog’s coat more.
- Dry the coat and brush thoroughly using a comb to check for knots in longer coats “remove knots with a brush not a comb”
- If you have a longer or curly coated breed, keep your dog’s coat trimmed regularly to prevent those split hairs matting. Longer coated breeds need clipping a minimum of every 8 weeks if they are not brushed in between. Allowing a dog’s coat to become tightly matted to the skin is painful for your dog and the only thing that can be done is to shave it off extremely short.
- Maintain your dogs coat through winter months. Many people worry the dog will get cold and leave grooming aside until we are in the middle or end stages of winter. Ideally a bath and full brush out once a month from a professional groomer will prevent your dogs coat matting and there will be no need to shave short during the colder months
- Keep your dog on a healthy diet rich in omega oils, a glossy healthy coat will also shed less and repel dirt and water.
- Regular de shedding unclogs blocked hair follicles reducing itchy skin and conditions like seborrhoea which results in waxy greasy discharge and foul odours.
The advantages of regular maintenance of your dog’s coat are
- Less vet bills from itchy clogged follicles causing skin conditions that require antibiotics and anti-inflammatory’s
- Your dog will smell and feel better
- Your dog will be able to sleep inside without shedding hair or leaving doggy odours
- You might stop people who will admire your dog
- You will be more aware of changes in your dog’s health
- Your dog will enjoy the attention and love you even more – if that’s possible.
What Are The Signs That Your Dog Loves You?
April 1, 2019
Everyone know that dogs make extremely loyal and intelligent companions, but do they love us back? The short answer is YES! Dogs express emotions too, they just show it in some weird ways.
Here are a few signs to look out for to see if you and your best mate are truly bonded.
Your Dog Makes Eye Contact
In the human world, it’s polite to make eye contact, but in the dog world it’s actually rude or even aggressive. If you met someone that made you feel unsafe, angry or threatened would you stare into their eyes? The same applies with dogs, they only stare into the eyes of their favourite humans and it means that your dog is happy and comfortable with you
Your Dog Wants To Stay Close To You
If your dog wants to sit on your lap, your feet, your chest or leans on you it’s a pretty clear sign of their adoration. Dogs are sociable pack animals and if they want to follow you around, then it’s another clear sign that they love you. Never mind that privacy in the bathroom is a thing of the past, your dog is just showing how he respects and loves you!
A dog jumping on you is generally not your favourite behaviour but it’s a great indicator that your dog loves you and wants to be close to you. It can be annoying sometimes and it’s tempting to punish your dog every time they jump on you but try rewarding your dog for not jumping on you instead. This makes far more sense when you know they only do it because they love you.
Your Dog Wags Their Tail
Tail wagging, on the face of it might sound like a no-brainer, but there is a little more involved in a tail wag, which can have many different meanings – that aren’t necessarily friendly! A full body wag, along with other positive body signs gives you a pretty clear message that your dog loves you back.
Your Dog Turns Their Back On You
Dogs are pack animals and in the wild, it could be dangerous to turn their backs on a potential threat or something that posed danger. If your dog is comfortable turning their back on you or even sticks it’s butt in your face (while not always appropriate) you know that you have a happy, well adjusted dog that loves and trusts you.
Your Dog Stretches Towards You
The last sign is something that not all pet owners may now. If you have seen your dog stretch in front of you (kind of like a bow), it may not be that they’re just stretching after a snooze, it’s more often than not a “greeting stretch” demonstrating that your dog is saying “I love you and I am happy to see you”
Your Dog Likes To Eat Your Shoes And/Or Socks
If your dog loves you, then they will also love your scent. Scientists have proven that the scent of a dog’s owner triggers the part of their brain that is associated with the reward centre. So if your dog is continually chewing on your shoes, it’s a sure sign that they love you very much!
Your Dog Yawns When You Do
Yawning in contagious, but it’s not limited to humans only. Dogs have been bred to read humans and if your pooch yawns when you do, its showing their canine empathy. There is no clear research on why dogs “catch” our yawns but it’s nice to think they’re doing it because there is a strong bond between you and your dog.
Your Dog Brings You Their Favourite Toy
Your dog will often bring you their toys in order for you to play with them, but that isn’t all. Giving you their favourite toy is a sign of affection. When a dog brings you their favourite ball or toy, it means they see you as the pack leader and thinks you’ll like their toy as much as they do.
Your Dog Lays On You After A Meal
We all know dogs are motivated by food, but if they cuddle you once the food is all gone it’s a very good sign that they really do love you!
You Love Your Dog
A dog can sense when you love them! If you don’t love your dog, then you won’t be getting it back in return!
Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other’s Butts?
March 14, 2019
It seems a bit gross, but sniffing butts is how dogs gather information about each other. It’s a normal and important ritual that dogs do during greetings. It helps them to find out things about each other and obtain information that they need to get along and survive.
A butt sniff for dogs is a bit like a hand shake for humans but with far more information received.
The hormones in the glands around the rear end of your dog send out a lot of information that dogs need to understand their place in the world. They also have a special part of their noses called the Jacobson’s Organ that lets them ignore the smell of poop (I want one) so they can smell the glands that release the chemicals they need to smell.
A dog’s nose is far more sensitive than ours and they are able to smell up to 100,000 times better than humans. They can ascertain a dog’s diet, gender and emotional state. They can also tell whether they have met before, and receive important cues on how they should behave towards each other.
Stopping your dog from smelling other dogs butts is robbing them of their instinctual behavior and can be the reason why dogs become aggressive when meeting other dogs on a leash as they aren’t able to ascertain their status with the other dog. Allowing them to sniff each other’s butt is a much more polite way for dogs to greet each other, rather than face to face.
Next time you’re tempted to stop your dog greeting another by sniffing their butt, remember that doing so could create additional stress when meeting other dogs in the future.
Does Your Dog Bark At Night And What To Do About It
January 25, 2019
Night time barking is one of the most common nuisance complaints and lets face it, a dog barking all night is very unpleasant for everyone within hearing distance.
Barking at night can be for a number of reasons, it could be that your dog isn’t feeling well, needs the bathroom, is bored or nervous or maybe just responding to noises in the environment.
Punishment or intimidation to stop your dog expressing themselves can increase anxiety and make the behaviour worse. The key is to work out the reasons for the night time barking and solve the issues causing it, in other words to stop night time barking we need to ensure that all of our dog’s needs are met throughout the day.
Young puppies have very poor bladder control and will be homesick. If your puppy has just arrived, then some noise at night is normal, especially if your puppy is learning to sleep alone. Because night time barking can easily become a habit, it’s best to pre-empt the waking pup and get up and take him for a toilet break before the barking starts.
Is your dog receiving enough exercise? Just like us, we all sleep better after a day of healthy exercise and mental enrichment. A dog that is tired out from a visit to the park is more likely to sleep through the night.
Does your dog have access to some where to toilet through the night or are they given adequate time before bed time?
Separation Can be Hard..
Dogs are social animals and this may be a harder one to tackle. If your dog doesn’t sleep with you at night, but is locked away by himself it could be loneliness or even separation anxiety. You don’t have to allow your dog to sleep with you if you don’t want to, but for the purposes of a good nights sleep, you may want to consider a crate or bed in your room, especially if your dog is getting older. Elderly dogs with failing hearing may find it a comfort to sleep close to their owners.
Check For Disturbances
If your dog starts barking at night, there may be a disturbance causing it. Check for mice, possums etc that may have may have moved into your home or maybe a noisy neighbour. Night time barking can very quickly become a habit, so you should investigate as quickly as possible.
Remove Your Attention
A common mistake is rewarding your dog when it’s barking. If your dog barks at night for whatever reason and you get up and pay them attention or even take the dog to bed with you, your dog will associate barking with gaining your attention and the problem will continue long after the original issue is resolved.
How To Stop It
If you are woken by your dog barking, you should check to ensure there isn’t a genuine reason. If the dog is clearly fine, keep the visit brief and uninteresting. Go back to bed as fast as you can. If you stop reinforcing the bad behaviour it will diminish and eventually stop.
If all the above have been eliminated, then it’s a good idea to get a vet check just to be sure that there is not an underlying health issue. Senior dogs can also suffer from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (Doggie Dementia) and if they are exhibiting unusual behaviours, you should seek vet advice.
Why Is Your Dog’s Stomach Making Noises And Is It Normal?
January 21, 2019
The gurgling noises you hear from your dog’s stomach are caused by gas moving around in the intestines. Just like us, it is normal for there to be some activity in the intestines, but generally is pretty quiet. If you aren’t sure, place your ear against your dog’s stomach. You should hear periods of quiet with occasional soft gurgles. This is what all of our stomachs sound like as well.
Sometimes just like us, dogs will have episodes of loud gurgling. Sometimes they are so loud that you may be able to hear them from across the room. While these noises aren’t entirely normal, they also don’t necessarily mean there’s a problem.
How Loud Is Loud?
Normal, quiet gurgling occur when normal quantities of gas are moved through the intestines in a normal fashion. Abnormally loud intestinal noises occur when the intestines contain abnormally large quantities of gas, or when the intestines experience abnormally increased activity. Both of these phenomena often occur simultaneously.
Is your dog’s stomach making noises because he’s hungry?
One of the most common causes of your dog’s stomach making noises is when your dog is hungry. Intestines of hungry animals do not contain significant quantities of food. Therefore they have a higher ratio of gas to solids. And the empty intestines might start to exhibit activity in response to anticipated feeding. The result will be audible intestinal noises, or “tummy grumbling.” Breakfast is the treatment for this type of intestinal gurgling.
Is your dog’s stomach making noises because he ate something strange — or something he shouldn’t have?
Unfortunately, hunger is not the only thing that can cause loud intestinal gurgling.
Dietary indiscretion, such as occurs when dogs break into the trash or feast on novel food items, is a common cause of a dog’s stomach making noises. This type of gastrointestinal upset often is mild (it can be compared to what might happen when a person who doesn’t usually eat spicy food goes to a Thai restaurant).
Other reasons for your dog’s stomach making noises
Other potentially serious causes of your dog’s stomach making noises include intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal foreign bodies, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, certain toxicities, adverse reactions to medications, metabolic problems such as liver or kidney disease, glandular disorders and even cancer of the intestines.
What to do about your dog’s stomach making noises
So, how worried should you be about your dog’s stomach making noises, and what should you do? It depends upon the circumstances. If it’s the morning, and your dog appears to be feeling fine but has not yet been fed, consider offering breakfast. If he eats with his normal enthusiasm and the noises stop, there probably isn’t a problem.
On the other hand, if your dog’s stomach is making noises in combination with symptoms such as mild lethargy or slightly poor appetite, a problem could be brewing. You should brace yourself for possible diarrhea or vomiting (although these are not guaranteed to develop), and consider offering an easily digestible diet such as boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast with steamed white rice.
If your dog is producing loud intestinal noises and he seems sick, then you should seek veterinary care immediately. Symptoms that should signal alarm include significant lethargy, significantly depressed appetite or thirst, diarrhea and especially vomiting.
If you are in doubt about whether your dog needs to see the vet, the safest option is always to take him in. It is better to err on the side of caution in these types of circumstances.
Are your dog’s stomach noises painful?
Some people wonder whether loud intestinal noises are painful. Again, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your dog’s stomach making noises. Hunger pangs are not especially miserable, but the cramps associated with some of the more serious causes of loud borborygmi can be downright agonizing. Painful gurgling noises are usually accompanied by lethargy and poor appetite. If your dog seems to be in pain, then a trip to the vet is in order.
Finally, some dogs experience loud intestinal noises on a regular basis. If you notice a dog’s stomach making noises — loudly — many times per week, then you should use the presence (or hopefully the absence) of other symptoms to guide your response. Dogs who experience regular loud stomach gurgling in conjunction with episodes of diarrhea or poor appetite might be suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, or some other chronic intestinal disorder that should be treated.
Dogs who feel fine but produce loud intestinal noises regularly probably don’t have anything wrong (although you should have your vet confirm it). After all, some individuals are gassier than others, and some intestines are naturally more active than others.
Keeping Your Pooch Safe At Christmas
December 17, 2018
Christmas is nearly here and that means lots of celebrating with friends and family, but a lot of the fun things that we associate with Christmas can be dangerous or harmful for our pets
Poinsetta, Mistletoe and Holly are all toxic to dogs. Be sure that they are placed higher up with they are inaccessible for your pets to reach.
We love our Christmas pudding, chocolates and roast meat that come with Christmas, but some of these ingredients can be toxic to our pets. Be sure to never leave plates unattended and monitor what your dog is eating.
With all of the festivities, some dogs do get anxious with the high-pitched noises of children playing. Make sure all children know how to behave around your dog to keep every one safe. Sometimes your pooch may need some down time away from the festivities, so keep an eye out for the warning signs that your dog may have had enough.
Trees look like a ball of fun to our pooches, but with electrical wiring and the risk of the tree falling and injuring them, make sure your pooch is always supervised if they have a tendency to want to play with your tree.
As much as we all love spoiling our dogs with little treats, be aware that a little can quickly become too much when everyone gives your dog a treat. Ask your guests not to feed your dog.
Fire works and parties are very prevalent throughout Christmas and it can all become a little too much. Look out for the warning signs and keep your pooch in a quiet, safe retreat where they can rest without being disturbed.
Most importantly, enjoy this time of year with your pooch and relax! Have a very safe and merry Christmas from all of us at the Jim’s Dog Wash Family.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Onions Or Garlic?
November 12, 2018
Most of us know that our dogs shouldn’t eat onions or garlic, but very few of us actually know why.
Onions and garlic contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. All onions whether cooked or raw can be dangerous
While a stray piece of onion won’t actually hurt your dog, the danger is that the toxins can build up in the dog’s system. This means that a point can be reached where the exposure can make your pooch very unwell with an illness called hemolytic anemia. This condition destroys the dog’s red blood cells, causing them to burst and can be fatal.
It generally takes between two to four days for symptoms to appear, which can include breathlessness, lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting. Your dog may also lose interest in food.
A small bite of something (if you drop it on the floor and your dog is too quick for you) won’t really harm your pooch and besides, dogs generally don’t like the taste of onions. But to be safe, keep all onions and garlic products away from your dog, try to avoid feeding your pooch table scraps as the amounts in food can sometime be hard to gauge.
If you think larger quantities have been consumed or your dog isn’t feeling well, see the vet straight away.
How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears And How Often?
November 6, 2018
Dog Owners often ask if they should be cleaning their dog’s ears and how often. The answer is yes, but how often depends on the breed.
Some dogs are more prone to developing ear infections, depending upon the breed. Dogs with floppy ears (that hang down, like a Cocker Spaniel) are more prone to infections, this is because their ears don’t get as much air flow, so ear wax, debris and moisture can get trapped inside the ear canal. Other breeds like Poodles grow hair inside the ear canal, which can limit the air flow too and lead to infection. Other causes can be parasites, mites and allergies, or simply grass seeds.
Jim’s Dog Wash Groomers will check and clean your dog’s ears as part of the routine grooming and they can usually pick up any issues before your dog starts showing symptoms (like shaking their head or scratching at their ears) but sometimes your pooch may need additional cleaning to prevent any infections.
Signs of ear problems
Getting to know your dog’s ears can help you to detect and prevent ear problems and infections. If your dog’s ears look red, itchy or inflamed or are smelly, you should see your vet before you start cleaning as likely there is already an infection and cleaning won’t resolve it.
How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears At Home
Always use a vet approved ear cleaner, you can buy ear cleaner from your vets or your Jim’s Dog Wash franchisee can supply it for you.
To clean the ears, squeeze a little bit of ear cleaner into the ear and let it drip down into the ear canal. Gently massage the base of the ear to suds up the cleaner and help it break down wax and debris. Let your dog shake his head then use cotton wool to wipe out the folds at the opening of the ear canal until it looks clean.
What About Plucking Ear Hair
If your dog grows a lot of hair in their ear canal, plucking can be beneficial prior to cleaning. If you are unsure, please speak to your Jim’s Dog Wash franchisee who can demonstrate or do it for you.
Remember though in some cases there are no early signs so for the best ear care you must always do a regular Vet check. Furthermore, if you have any concerns it’s best to get your pooch checked by a vet.
Dogs get jealous and a bunch of other facts you probably didn’t know!
November 1, 2018
According to scientists, dogs do suffer from jealousy, the same as humans. Researchers studied dogs and their behaviours and found that most were indifferent when their owners ignored them, but if their owners gave attention to a stuffed dog, their pooches’ behaviour changed dramatically, sparking snapping and snarling at the stuffed toy.
The discovery shows that while dogs may be man’s best friend, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about them!
Dogs don’t feel guilt
Scientists believe that while dogs experience jealousy when their owners give attention to others, but if they chew up your favourite shoes, they may look ashamed but don’t expect them to feel guilty as they don’t experience these emotions.
Researchers say that the puppy dog eyes are not a sign of guilt, but their reaction to being scolded.
Dogs See In Colour
While dogs may not see colours as vividly as we do, they only have two cones in their eyes to detect colours (humans have three), meaning that dogs can see colours on the blue and yellow scale but cannot distinguish between red and green. Dogs do, however have better night vision.
Dogs have way better senses
Dogs can see UV light and don’t need a compass because they can sense the earth’s magnetic fields. It’s believed that they hear some of the ultrasound waves like bats.
Smarter Than We Think They Are
Research shows that dogs can understand up to 250 words and gestures and can perform simple mathematical calculations. The smartest are Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Dobermans.
Shake It Out
Dogs can shake 70% of the water out of their fur in four seconds, generating more G-force than F1 drivers experience in sharp corners
Dogs can fall in love. Dog’s brains release oxytocin – the love hormone when it interacts with humans and dogs, just the same as a human brain
Man’s Best Friend
Research shows that dogs are more confident exploring the world with their owner is by their side. Scientists have found that dogs owner’s smell can spark activation of the “reward centre” of a dog’s brain, hence the reason that our dogs are always so happy to see us!
Left or Right
Around 90% of the human population is right handed, but with dogs the split is even with around a third right pawed, one third left pawed and the rest ambidextrous. Research shows that right pawed dogs tend to be bolder and more inquisitive and are more suited as guide dogs. Left pawed dogs tend to be more aggressive.
Puppy Training Tips!
October 2, 2018
So you’ve got a new puppy? It’s never too early to start training and here our five top tips to help you!
- Think of your puppy as a toddler who has no concept of right or wrong, and needs to be taught. Repetition and consistency are key.
- Puppies want nothing more than to please you, they just need to know how. Be consistent!
- Socialize and expose your puppy to people and other dogs! Introduce your puppy to as many places as you can, and to as many people and other dogs.
- Naps are important for your puppy. Be sure to give him the space and time he needs to relax. Try not to overwhelm him. Like a baby, he’ll need frequent naps during the day.
- Don’t forget to introduce your puppy to regular grooming as soon as possible so that they become used to the process and don’t become stressed or anxious when it’s time for their grooming.
Top Ten Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy
September 12, 2018
- Visit the Vet. Annual check ups with the vet can catch illnesses before they become big problems.
- Prevent Fleas. Fleas cause itchy skin but can also be the cause of allergies that can cause anaemia and tapeworms
- Prevent heartworm. Heartworm can be fatal and prevention is far better than a cure.
- Exercise every day. Exercise isn’t just important for maintaining a healthy weight, it will keep your dog mentally healthy as well.
- Watch your dog’s weight. Lack of exercise and overfeeding can cause arthritis, liver disease and coronary disease. Your dog can’t decide how much or what is the best food to eat, only you can do that.
- Stay away from dangerous foods. Alcohol, coffee, chocolate, avocado, onions, grapes, salt and garlic can all be poisonous to dogs.
- Brush those teeth. Bad breath can be the first sign of gum or teeth problems. The same as humans, dogs teeth retain particles of food. Infection can lead to tooth decay and ultimately can affect your pet’s health.
- Vaccinate. Protect your dog against the more serious diseases.
- Regular health checks. The best way to prevent health issues is to ensure that your dog is checked regularly. Look for swelling, scabs or flakey skin, check the eyes and ears for any sign of redness or infection. Your Jim’s Dog Wash Groomer can also undertake regular checks as part of the groom.
- Regular Grooming. Regular grooming will keep your dog’s coat and skin in top condition, but it will also help your dog become used to being handled so that they don’t become too stressed when they do need to be groomed.
Top Tips To Change Your Dog’s Behaviour
September 5, 2018
Dogs are brilliant learners and harsh reprimands can make them afraid of you, doing more harm than good. Studies show that rewarding positive behaviour will get better outcomes and here are our top tips to help you:
- Establish Consistent Rules. No amount of training is going to work unless all members of the family are on the same page. Sometimes the biggest problem is that each family member is rewarding different behaviours.
- Reward Only The Good Behaviour. We often reward our dogs for bad behaviour without realising. Do you hate it when your dog jumps up on you, but you continue to pat them and without realising, encourage the behaviour? Or do you have a dog that drives you crazy with wanting you to throw the ball until you give up and throw it to stop him?
- Ignore Unwanted Behaviour. Next time your dog jumps up on you, try looking elsewhere and walking away. Call your dog and ask him to sit, then when he gets it right give him a reward. If he continues to jump on you, ignore him and repeat until he gets it right.
- Exercise. Is your dog getting enough exercise and receiving enough mental stimulation? When we exercise our dogs, there is a lot more going on than simply tiring them out. When dogs (just like humans) exercise it releases endorphins in our brains that make us feel good. Exercise helps us all to maintain focus while providing mental stimulation.
Getting Your Dog Ready For Spring
August 13, 2018
Spring is almost here and the weather is starting to warm up, so it’s time to get your dog prepared for the season to ensure that you both get the most of summer.
As the weather heats up the parasites that can attack your dog also come out. Now is the time to start looking at prevention for fleas, ticks and heartworms. Flea bites itch and can lead to scratching, licking and biting at the skin. In addition to skin irritation, fleas can cause hair loss and tapeworms. Dogs with particularly bad reactions to fleas may get hot spots, or red, itchy spots on the skin that often appear moist and oozing. Your dog should have at least one vet visit a year and spring is the best time to make sure all of the vaccines are up to date and ensure your dogs health for the warmer months.
You should also clean your dog’s bedding. A mild detergent or some vinegar should be enough to get rid of the fur, dander and bacteria that built up over the colder season. Bedding should be cleaned every three months to kill flea eggs and parasites.
With the warmer months ahead there will be more time spent outside, it’s a good time to check your fencing and make sure that it is safe and secure as well as checking for any hazards that may harm your dog while playing. Your dog may use the holes in fences and get lost or could be injured while trying to escape.
We all tend to be a little less active over winter and our dogs may have added a little weight over the colder months. With warm weather on the way and just like us, our dogs need to slowly start back into an exercise program. Increasing exercise too quickly can result in injuries (just like us). Go slow and everyone will be fit and healthy to enjoy the summer months.
This is the time of year when your dog will start shedding all their winter coat. The best thing that you can do is brush your dog regularly to keep the shedding under control, you may need to invest in a specific brush designed for shedding. Use a brush with soft bristles that massage the skin and helps to loosen up dry skin as well so that the dead hair and dandruff are removed and the coat gets a new, fresh look. To help with grooming, here are a few tips:
- If your dog’s coat is looking a bit dry, try using a gentle pet conditioner
- Check to make sure that the ears are clean and have no sign of mites
- Brush Brush Brush!
- Nails also need to be clipped. If you aren’t comfortable doing this let your groomer know and they can do it for you.
For dogs with longer or double coats, you should consider opting into a regular grooming program with your local Jim’s Dog Wash franchisee who can help with flea and tick management along with the maintenance of your dog’s healthy coat. To book in with one of our franchisees, please call 0800 454 654 or book online at https://www.jimsdogwash.co.nz/
Removing Stubborn Stains In Your Dog’s Coat
July 9, 2018
There are many things you can do at home to fix stains quickly, cheaply and painlessly with common things you would have around the house. Firstly, it helps if you understand hair construction.
The hair shaft is a strand of keratin, or protein that is produced in a hair follicle buried beneath the skin. It basically consists of three layers;
Medulla, or core;
Cortex, tightly compressed keratin cells surrounding the Medulla;
Cuticle, a thin layer of overlapping cells covering the entire hair shaft similar to shingles of a roof.
The cuticle protects the inner layers when it is in good condition, but sometimes the little “shingles” break away and expose the cortex to internal damage. When this happens all sorts of things can get into the hair itself, oil, dirt or odours are common.
Probably the number one thing we are asked about is black oils spots. The one main thing to remember is that oil and water do not mix so do not try to wash the stain out. The oil quickly soaks into the cuticle and it needs to be drawn out. Get some plain baby powder and sprinkle it liberally into the coat and it will start to absorb the oil out of the cuticle. After a few minutes, brush very well and reapply the powder until the spot has disappeared.
This is more common than you might imagine and reasonably easy to remove. The simplest option of course is to cut it out, but it is not necessary as a little olive oil will sort the problem very well. Any good quality clear oil will work, simply rub it into the gum and start picking away with your fingernail towards the tip of the hair and it will slide off the cuticle a little at a time. Keep applying oil until it is gone and then soak up the oil with paper towels, and shampoo when it’s convenient.
If the paint is water based you should wash it out as soon as possible or at least keep it wet until it can be washed out. If it is enamel paint it is not so easy. Do not under any circumstances pour thinning products on your dog. Remove as much as possible with paper towels and try alcohol wipes on the area while it is still damp and then shampoo well. If the paint has dried you could try the olive oil again or it may need to be clipped out to avoid your dog chewing at it.
If washing is not an option, some mud is as easy to be rid of as waiting for it do dry and brushing it away. For smelly swamp mud, try adding baking soda in small amounts to the dried mud before brushing and repeat where necessary.
If you are not sure what to do, try ringing your local Jim’s Dog Wash groomer on 0800 454 654 first and they will be able to help you.
How To Keep Your Dog’s Coat Healthy
June 12, 2018
Shiny coats are a sign of good nutrition, proper maintenance and an indication of the dog’s overall health. If you want your dog’s coat to really shine, then diet is the first place to look.
In the wild, dogs eat a variety of food that consists mostly of raw meat, raw bones, organs, other tissues as well as undigested vegetable matter, so it’s not surprising that meat alone won’t provide everything that your dog needs.
On top of that, dog’s dietary requirements change depending on the stage of their life and activity level. A growing puppy needs high levels of protein, to develop strong bones and muscles, whereas too much protein for an older dog can over work the kidneys and shorten their life.
The best way to make sure that your dog has a great coat is to provide everything a dog needs in their diet. Low quality foods or homemade diets often aren’t properly balanced to ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients for a healthy and shiny coat. Healthy fats are important when it comes to keeping the coat in it’s best condition. Most good quality foods contain omega-3 and pet stories also sell supplements which can also help with skin disorders. Itchy skin can be reduced, due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega fatty acids.
Your local Jim’s Dog Wash groomer can help you to establish a regular bathing and grooming routine. This will improve the oxygen supply to your dog’s skin, remove old hair and allow oils in the skin to be passed over the dog’s coat, keeping it healthy. Your groomer will also check for parasites, which can cause dry skin or more serious issues.
Contact Jim’s Dog Wash on 08 0045 4654 or book online to have a chat with your local groomer to establish a routine which will benefit your dog.
Caring for our pets
May 15, 2018
AS A PET OWNER, MOST OF US KNOW OUR RESPONSIBILITIES OF CARING FOR THE ANIMALS THAT ARE SO DEPENDANT ON US.
And so as pet owners, we also need to understand the benefits of regular grooming routines.
A clean pet is a happy pet.
Keeping the coat free of dirt, tangles and external parasites, removing loose hair, no hair in the eyes, clipped nails, trimmed pads all make for a pet that is comfortable.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T KEEP A REGULAR GROOMING SCHEDULE?
Serious side effects occur when we neglect to groom our pets. We encourage a variety of issues which can lead to expensive vet bills and difficult or even aggressive behaviour from your pet. Long hair hanging over your pet’s eyes can restrict vision altering the pet’s capabilities and behaviour. When long hair is not brushed and washed regularly, pets often suffer matting and can load your pet with extra weight.
Matting of the hair can be painful and cause serious skin conditions. Severe matting restricts blood flow, pulling tightly on a pet’s skin and making a simple pat painful. In some cases, matting can be so severe that it restricts body movement leading to deformity.
Overgrown nails can be very painful, with long nails growing into the paw pads. Long nails can cause your pet’s toes to bend and create a walking disfigurement.
Double coating from irregular brushing leads to extra coat causing your pet to suffer heat stress.
Grass seeds will not be easily detected if you are not hands-on with your grooming. Undetected grass seeds can lead to abscesses, severe infection, sometimes major surgery for your dog which means expensive vet bills for you.
Fleas, ticks and mites are some of the most common parasites that can thrive on dirty and untreated bodies.
WHEN SHOULD I GROOM MY DOG?
How often your dog needs grooming will vary with age, lifestyle, type of coat and health issues but most breeds will benefit from a 4 – 6 week schedule, some even going on a weekly or fortnightly routine.
BENEFITS OF PET GROOMING INCLUDE:
- A pet that looks and smells nice, plus your best friend will be free from discomfort, feel great and behave well.
- Reduced risk of eye, ear & skin infections. You will ensure your pet is free from pain and disease.
- Lower medical bills as regular grooming will prevent disease and catch many health issues before they become an emergency.
- Regular nail trims will help keep the nails short but helps reinforce healthy foot structure and posture, and reduces the risk of infection
- Shiny, healthy and properly brushed coats will shed less
How do I manage fleas on my pets?
Fleas can be easily controlled provided you follow a few simple steps.
- Seek advice from your vet as to the most appropriate product to use on your pet.
- To completely manage the outbreak it is important to treat your pet, its bedding, and your house at the same time.
Your efforts will be wasted if you only focus on treating your pet alone.
- You should treat areas where pets sleep and play on a weekly basis whether fleas are present or not.
- DO NOT issue your pet with tablet or liquid flea treatments and then within 24-48hrs of doing so proceed to wash them with a flea rinse shampoo.
This is doubling up on product and can cause serious illness, even death.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF ANY FLEA TREATMENT THAT YOU ADMINISTER.
If issuing via liquid or tablet form, always purchase the correct treatment relative to your dog’s weight.
If unsure, Contact your Vet for further advice.
What Does Your Dog Dream About?
April 9, 2018
Have you ever watched your dog sleeping and seen his legs twitch or his paws moving? It’s impossible not to think that they are dreaming, but for many years scientists weren’t sure if animals could dream in the way that humans do.
Following a series of studies where the brain activity of rats was monitored going about their business during the day and then compared to the patterns in the brain while they slept, scientists have been able to finally prove that animals do dream just like us.
No one completely understands the process of dreaming, but it is thought that it helps the brain to process information and experiences throughout the day, hence the reasons that puppies (and human babies) sleep so much, because their brains have so much more to process.
Sigmund Freud once theorised that dreaming is like a safety valve for all of our unconscious desires, it’s fun to imagine that this is correct and our dogs are dreaming about non-stop pats, unlimited treats and chasing their favourite ball!
In reality, as humans, we tend to dream about the things that we see throughout the day and studies show that dogs are no different. Dogs can also experience nightmares or bad dreams as well. Animals that have been mistreated or come from unhappy homes tend to whimper in their sleep or show signs of being frightened, while a happy dog will paddle his legs as though running, wag his tail or twitch his nose.
It’s very likely that dogs dream about the things they see and do throughout the day, so the best way to give your dog the best dreams, is to give them lots of fun day time experiences with plenty of sleep in a safe and warm environment.
If dogs do dream about the things that interest them, then it strongly points to our pets dreaming about us. Our dogs are attached to us and it makes sense that they would dream about the person they care about the most!
Dogs sleep about half of their day, so they have plenty of time to dream about their owners as well as their other doggie favourites.
Jim’s Dog Wash can help with pampering your best friend and ensuring that they have lots of fun, happy thoughts to dream about. Our mobile operators come to your home to wash and groom your dog in a warm and safe environment where there are no other dogs barking or threatening them.
Your dog will never be far from you (their favourite person) and you can rest assured that our fully trained franchisees know how to pamper and spoil your dog.
Call Jim’s Dog Wash today on 0800454654 or book online here
Preparing Your Dog For Autumn
March 28, 2018
With summer over and the cooler time of the year about to begin, there are some necessities that your best friend will need to prepare for the coming winter months. Changing seasons means changes in your dog’s nutrition and lifestyle and here are a few tips to ensure your best friend is healthy and happy.
With the cooler weather approaching, your dog may need new bedding or additional blankets to keep warm, especially if they sleep outside. If your dog spends a lot of time indoors, heating can lead to the skin and coat drying out. To keep moisture in the coat you can increase omega 3 into the diet to promote healthy skin and coat over the winter months. Fish such as salmon and whitefish are a great source of omega 3. If your dog wears a coat during winter, be aware that the jumper can rub on your dog’s fur, especially around the neck and front legs causing painful mats if you aren’t brushing regularly.
As the day gets shorter, some of your regular walks may take place in the dark. If you don’t have the proper gear to walk your dog at night, now is a good time to start thinking about it. You can purchase reflective gear for yourself and your dog, as well as light leashes (leashes that provide a light).
With the extra leaf litter and extra moisture trapped on the ground, we see an abundance of mushrooms growing in our back yards and while we are out walking. While most of mushrooms are non toxic, dogs are more susceptible to poisoning because of their wandering and their indiscriminate appetites, so keep an eye on your dog with a curious nose.
Contrary to popular belief ticks and fleas can still be prevalent in the cooler months and the build up of leaf litter is a tick’s favourite environment, so remember to keep up your flea and tick program.
Regular grooming is more important in winter, the most common misconception is that dogs don’t need regular grooming in winter and owners allow the coats to grow longer. Dogs will grow thicker coats to combat the cold but you still need to keep the coat neat for the insulation to work it’s best. Without regular grooming, your dog’s fur can become matted and cause discomfort and skin problems.
Dogs paws are also more susceptible to damage in the muddy and cold conditions. Hair between paws should be trimmed neatly to avoid mud being stuck between the paw and pads, which can cause infections and discomfort.
You should still wash your dog during winter, just be sure to dry them off completely so that they don’t get too cold afterwards. Jim’s Dog Wash uses force driers and has warm water on board to ensure that your pooch is warm, clean and completely dry.
If you want to keep your dog warm, comfortable and looking their best, call our friendly team on 0800454654.
Keeping Your Double Coated Dog Cool In Summer
March 6, 2018
A dog’s undercoat is a second coat beneath the outer coat that keeps your dog warm in winter and cool in summer. Breeds such as the German Shepherd, Pomeranian, Chow, Husky, Malamute and Samoyed generally have an undercoat.
Double coated breeds have long and course outer coats that protects the undercoat that is usually fluffy and soft. While dogs shed their outer coat all year round, the undercoat is usually shed seasonally.
Breeds with an undercoat require a lot of maintenance all year round, but need a full deshed and blow out at each change of the season. You need to brush the undercoat all year round to prevent any matting and during shedding time to remove all of the loose fur. This can be done with a rake or a deshedding tool.
Shaving a double coated dog is rarely done for the below reasons:
- The purpose of the undercoat is to keep them cooler in summer and warm in winter. The top coat with the tougher guard hairs protect your dog from the sun’s rays and insect bites.
- In summer, your dog will shed the soft undercoat, just leaving behind the guard hairs. Without the undercoat, the air cannot circulate beneath the outer hair and cannot keep the skin cool.
- Single coated breeds have hair that just keeps growing, double coated breeds only grow their fur to a certain length. If you shave a single coated breed, the coat will grow back without any change. Shaving a double-coated breed can really ruin the coat.
- If you do shave your double coated dog, the new hair will grow back but the undercoat will grow first. The guard hairs are slower to grow. The texture of the new coat coming through tends to be sticky and all manner of grass seeds, twigs and plants will stick to the dog’s coat
- The texture of the soft undercoat will absorb the sun’s rays, making your dog hotter in summer.
- Shaving a double coated dog does not reduce shedding
The best way to keep your dog cool in summer is to ensure that your dog is groomed regularly and has a de-shed at the beginning of each season to remove all of the dead hair and to ensure that the outer coat can work as it is intended, as an insulator.
Brushing alone does not get all the undercoat. Brushing in conjunction with regular bathing promotes shedding and then drying with a high velocity drier to push out a lot of the undercoat.
The best thing to reduce/prevent shedding is to have regular grooming every 4 weeks. Speak to your local Jim’s Dog Wash franchisee, who can put your dog on a regular cycle for grooming to keep your dog’s coat in top condition.
Call Jim’s Dog Wash on 0800454654 to speak to one of fully trained operators who can advise you on a schedule that suits you and your dog.
Hot Weather Dogs: Tips For Keeping Your Best Friend Cool In Summer
February 16, 2018
Summer time in New Zealand means lots of fun outdoor activities with your pooch but when the temperature soars, Jim’s Dog Wash has a few tips to keep your dog cool.
Some dogs do struggle with the heat more than others, long-haired dogs or breeds with undercoats like Huskys, Border Collies and Chow Chows will feel the heat more than short-haired dogs. Pugs, Bull Dogs and Boston Terriers have flat-shaped faces and can’t pant as well as other breeds to regulate their body temperature and can overheat very quickly
Keep Your Dog Cool And Hydrated
- Plenty of fresh drinking water is a must. You can even add ice cubes into their water to keep your pooch cool.
- A small wading pool can be fun if your pooch likes the water
- Make cool treats, help your pooch keep cool from the inside. You can freeze chicken stock, chicken pieces or carrot pieces in an ice cube tray and give them to your dog for an extra special summer time treat.
Regular Doggie Baths
- Bathing your dog every 2 weeks helps to keep your pooch clean if they have been swimming in lakes or the beach, this will also give you or your groomer an opportunity to check for ticks
- Regular grooming will help with shedding and help to remove the heavy undercoat to keep your dog cooler
Staying Out Of The Sun
- Shade for your dog over the warmer months is very important. Have your dog inside or provide a proper outdoor shelter for them.
- Be aware of how high temperatures rise in cars. Never leave your dog alone inside of a car during summer.
- Just like we need sunscreen to protect us from the sun so does your dog, especially if your dog has lighter coloured skin or less hair. Be aware that zinc is toxic to dogs so make sure the sunscreen is natural and zinc free
- It is best to take your dog for walks either in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not too hot. Remember, if it’s too hot for you it will be too hot for your pooch as well.
- Dogs don’t wear shoes, be aware of this when walking on hot cement or pathways.
- Be careful not to over exercise your pooch. Constant panting and drooling are both signs that your dog has had more than enough exercise.
Grooming Your Dog At Home
February 7, 2018
Have you ever noticed how much cleaner your dog is after being to a groomer than when you wash him at home? You pour on heaps of shampoo, chuck in a little water from the hose, give him a scrub and wash him off, but his coat still seems dull.
One of the biggest problems with washing at home is shampoo residue being left on the coat and skin which can cause dullness and in some cases, serious skin conditions. Many, if not most dog shampoos suggest you pour the shampoo liberally over the dog. This is not only makes it hard to rinse out, but it wastes a lot of shampoo unnecessarily.
Washing your dog can be quick and fun if you follow a few simple steps:
- Get everything ready beforehand, shampoo, sponge, chamois, towels
- For long coated dogs, or shedding coats, brush well first
- If necessary, use a soft lead to tie your dog in place so both your hands are free
- Use warm (but not hot) water whenever possible, if warm water is not available for the whole job, at least use a bucketful of warm water for shampooing and then rinse in cold
- Put some shampoo into a bucket and fill with warm water and wash your dog with a sponge rather than pouring the shampoo onto the coat, or mix in a pressure sprayer that is used solely for this purpose. This makes it easier to rinse out and you use significantly less too
- Rinse really well and take care not to get water in the ears or nose. When you have finished rinsing, the water should appear clear enough to drink
- Dry off with a chamois first, this removes heaps of water and then towel dry giving a really good scruff up, this is your dog’s reward for being so good
If your dog gets vehicle oil in the coat, try brushing though liberal amounts of un-scented baby powder, oil and water just don’t mix. For removing chewing gum, use olive oil to rub into the gum and break it apart with your fingers. It should slide out in small pieces then shampoo with warm water as above.
And that’s really all there is to it. As always, brushing is more important than washing which helps remove dander, shedding coat and knots, and if in doubt, ask your groomer for advice for in-between maintenance. Call Jim’s Dog Wash on 0800454654 to book in regular grooming.
Grooming Short Haired Dogs
February 7, 2018
If there’s one thing that never ceases to amaze us it’s the amount of people who mention in passing how annoying it is that their short haired dogs shed fur all over the house, but have never thought to ask us if we can do or advise anything to stop that. The answer would be a resounding YES!
Most dogs shed, especially when the seasons are changing, it either drops out if the coat is short, or gets stuck in the coat and creates mats and knots if it’s long but there is something we can do about both, and so can you at home.
Anything from a short coated Chihuahua or Great Dane, can benefit from a de-shedding treatment. Here’s what to do.
First a nice warm wash and shampoo with lots of bubbles and a good scrub with a rubber curry brush to loosen the dead coat that’s ready to shed out. Then rinse really well and you should already see a lot of fur flushing away. A light conditioner can help too, but be sure to rinse even more thoroughly after that. Jim’s Dog Wash then use a force dryer to blow a lot more out of the coat, but at home you can still achieve a reasonable result after your dog is completely dry using something like a “Furminator”
Stroke the “Furminator” over the coat keeping it flat and horizontal to the body and you should get a lot of fur coming out. Keep working around the entire dog moving gently when you get near the bony areas, as well as removing all that fur that is about to drop out, the coat should take on a nice shine. Lastly, just a wipe over with a slightly damp chamois will pick up any strays you might have stirred up.
Whether you do it yourself or give Jim’s Dog Wash a call on 0800 454 654, you should notice a huge difference around the house.
Customer Demand Surges As Jim’s Dog Wash Approaches 2018
December 26, 2017
As 2017 comes to a close, Jim’s Dog Wash, celebrates another very busy year, servicing more than 15,000 customers across Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, over 13,000 customers were also turned away due to the shortage of operators, equating to over $700,000 of work that current franchisees were unable to service.
Divisional Franchisor, Sharon Connell, said Jim’s Dog Wash has an absolute commitment to customer service and it is central to everything that we do, couple this with the trusted Jim’s brand and it is a win-win for customers and franchisees alike.
Jim’s Dog Wash is seeing very significant trends during the last 12 months, mostly due to the busy lifestyle of our clientele:
- Increased demand for mobile grooming services as time poor owners want to fit grooming in with their busy lifestyles;
- The most increased jobs for Jim’s Dog Wash was specific breed style grooms; and
- Continued success for Franchisees in the Jim’s Dog Wash
The biggest benefit of being part of the Jim’s Dog Wash brand is that franchisees can achieve their financial and lifestyle goals at the same time, with many opportunities for those that want to build a career. John and Liz Ten Hoopen started as franchisees in 2014 in Adelaide, South Australia. Since that time, they have grown to be very successful franchisees with two trailers on the road earning a fantastic income, while still being able to spend time with their busy family.
John and Liz have recently taken on the role of Regional Franchisor in North Adelaide and are very excited for 2018 and looking forward to sharing their knowledge and expertise in business and in Dog Grooming.
Jims Dog Wash is anticipating a busy 12 months ahead with new area managers in Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand with the plan to recruit new franchisees to keep up with the demand for Dog Washing and Grooming Services and to reduce the number of customers being turned away due to lack of operators.
Jim’s Group is currently hard pressed to recruit enough Franchisees as customer enquiries have surged in 2017 and continue to surge. Even though franchise numbers have risen five per cent over the past year, the number of leads have grown by 15 per cent since 2016.
CEO of Jim’s Group, Jim Penman, said he attributes recent growth to an increased focus on outstanding customer service, with automated review and feedback systems.
Recent improvements in customer service are driven by heavy investments in IT. Jim’s Group now spends more than $1 million dollars per year on software development to increase efficiency and improve service to customers and Franchisees.
Increased customer demand is even more remarkable given:
- Franchisees are encouraged not to compete locally on price;
- Customer surveys suggest that around 75% of leads result in work being done; and
- Advertising is being scaled back. In some areas, the advertising contribution of around $150 per month has to be given back to the Franchisees because it is simply not needed.
Customers are also reassured that Jim’s Group work is covered by a Warranty Fund that is funded by a once-off charge to new Franchisees (mostly $100). For example, the Group’s biggest ever pay-out was $120,000 to replace a very large fence that proved to be substandard, but such claims are rare, as evidenced by the fact that the Warranty Fund is currently $70,000 in surplus.
The sheer volume of current leads has made it much easier to put on Franchisees than in the past. In addition, there are leadership opportunities in the growing number of new Divisions – 52 at last count.
Of the existing 3800 Franchisees, the age range varies from 20 to 73 years of age and includes people from myriad backgrounds and cultures. During 2017 there has been growing interest in owning a franchise from two distinct groups of people:
- Those who are familiar with earning good incomes but finding themselves less employable as they reach their late 40s or early 50s; and
- People who simply want an independent and balanced lifestyle with more family time. Though the average Franchise income is around $100,000 per annum (Jim’s Group does not record what Franchisees earn), top Franchisees can earn into the millions.
To enquire about booking a Jim’s Dog Wash service or becoming a franchisee, please visit https://www.jims.net/
About Jim’s Group
When Jim Penman studied his PhD in history, it wasn’t remotely on his radar to build a multimillion dollar global franchise business. Jim mowed lawns part-time to make his way through university. In 1982, having failed to secure an academic post, he launched a full-time business with a marketing budget of $24, In 1989 he began franchising. By focusing relentlessly on service to Franchisees and customers, and being highly selective as to who he put on, the business grew into what is now a national brand.
From mowing lawns, to cleaning houses or installing antennas Jim’s Group has 52 Divisions and 3,800 Franchisees in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Group estimates that it serves more than 100,000 customers each week.
The Jim’s Group headquarters is on a sprawling campus in Mooroolbark where Franchisees regularly meet for training and business development. It also doubles as a popular reception centre, with a special focus on church groups and non-profits.
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